| June 20, 2018

Act promptly to protect quake victims from cold: SC to govt

KATHMANDU, Dec 29: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the government to take immediate initiatives to protect earthquake-affected people from the winter cold.

A single-bench of Chief Justice Kalyan Shrestha ordered the government to make necessary arrangements saying that it is the duty of the state to protect its people from humanitarian crisis.
"Provide warm clothes and medicines to earthquake victims within seven days and submit the details of relief distribution through a responsible officer to the Supreme Court," stated the apex court order. "It is the responsibility of the state to protect people from natural disasters so it has become urgent to make necessary arrangements for protecting them."

The apex court said that it is unfortunate that those people who lost their homes and properties are now facing mortal risks. "It has become urgent to send medical teams, medicines, foodstuffs, clothes and other essential goods to the earthquake-hit districts and that concrete measures must be taken to ensure that the people's right to life is protected," it said.

Lawyers Madhav Kumar Basnet and Mina Khadka Basnet had moved the Supreme Court aruging that the government wasn't doing enough for the earthquake victims even as some of the earthquake-displaced people have already died due to winter cold. They also reminded that the government hadn't done enough when poor people lost their lives due to coldwaves in Tarai districts in the past.

They also drew the apex court's attention toward reports of relief materials rotting in warehouses even as the earthquake-displaced people have been facing hardships in lack of essentials.

The lawyers made the office of the prime minister and council of ministers, home ministry, local development ministry and ministry of urban development as defendants in their application.