Blocking of border roads by Karnataka violative of fundamental rights of citizens: Kerala to SC
It said eight lives have been lost till date on account of the blockade of border roads by Karnataka and one person had died after an appeal was filed by Karnataka government in apex court against the Kerala High Court order for opening the borders.
In its affidavit filed in the top court, Kerala said the Union government, under whom the National Highway fall, is duty bound to issue direction to Karnataka to remove such blockade for transporting patients requiring medical attention as well as essential goods to Kerala.The top court, while posting the matter for hearing on April 7, had on Friday sought responses from the Centre and the Kerala government on the plea of Karnataka challenging the high court order for opening of borders to ensure movement of essential supplies amid the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic.
It said Karnataka is constitutionally mandated to remove the blockade of various entry points from Kasaragod district in Kerala to Karnataka, including National Highway, and blockade at the Thalassery–Coorg (Kodagu) Road at the Inter State Border at Kuttupuzha.It said the Centre is also mandated under the Constitution to direct Karnataka to remove the blockade.
Kasaragod is the northernmost district of the state and it borders Dakshin Kannada district of Karnataka, Kerala said, adding that many people are dependent on hospitals and medical facilities available in Mangalore and Sullya in Dakshin Kannada district because they are the nearest towns."From Talappady in Manjeshwar Taluk of Kasaragod district, there is only 15 kilometres to Mangalore. This has been the practice for decades. So free flow of ambulances and vehicles carrying patients across the border is to be enforced in order to save human lives. "Further, Kerala is a consumer State and depends heavily on its neighbouring States for supply of essential goods. Therefore, essential goods are also transported from Karnataka to Kerala through the roads providing access to Karnataka from the Kasaragod district," it said.
Kerala said the roads leading to Mangalore are seen blocked by dumping piles of soil fully blocking the vehicular movement including ambulances plying to Mangalore for medical emergencies for patients in Kasaragod and even there are instances where roads are blocked by Karnataka inside the geographical area of Kerala.
It said the contention and averment of Karnataka government that the existing medical facilities in Mangalore were not sufficient to accommodate patients from Kasaragod in Kerala is not correct.Kerala added that Karnataka government had on March 23, issued order directing closure of border roads with Kerala except for medical emergencies and later an addendum was issued restricting even Inter State movements of patients.
It said that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Governor Arif Mohammad Khan had taken up the matter with their counterpart in Karnataka and the Centre besides several inter-secretary level deliberations.
It claimed that even after the Kerala High Court order of April 1, the district medical officer of Dakshin Kannada district had issued an order directing the hospitals of Mangalore not to admit patients from Kasaragod district.Kerala said Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had openly declared that the blockade at Kerala-Karnataka border would not be removed.
(This story has not been edited by Business Insider and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed we subscribe to.)
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