Water-logging: Delhi HC asks MCD to pay Rs 9 lakh as damages to elderly woman’s house
New Delhi: Delhi High Court has asked the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to pay a compensation of Rs 9 lakh to an octogenarian woman whose house was flooded and damaged during the monsoon due to a construction work of the civic body.
The woman approached the court, pointing out that each time the road, near her house, was repaired, its level rose by about 2 and a half feet. Due to this, her house has gone below the road level. The rainwater gets collected in the house which has caused damage to the house of the petitioner.
It is stated that during the monsoons it is impossible to live in the house as rainwater enters the house. The MCD’s suggestion to make a toe wall of about 8 inches cannot be accepted as the 80-year-old woman Leela Mathur cannot be expected to climb over it every time to enter the house, the Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad noted in the recent order.
The locality of Azad Nagar faces the issue of waterlogging because the MCD has indiscriminately repaired the roads, without following basic care and caution. It also appears that the actions of the MCD have compelled individuals, who did not have the financial wherewithal to raise the level of their houses, to sell their houses to builders, the court noted. “A responsible Municipal Corporation consisted for the precise purpose of providing these basic public goods cannot shirk off its responsibility by citing financial constraints,” the order highlighted.
“Considering that it is evident that the MCD has been grossly negligent in its conduct, it is incumbent upon this court to craft tools in order to do complete justice for the appellant. In the considered opinion of this court, in the facts and circumstances of this particular case, providing monetary compensation to the appellant i.e. Smt. Leela Mathur is the most viable mode of redress available,” the order read.
The court noted that the appellant who would have to incur Rs 21 lakh to carry out the necessary repairs of her home, was earlier awarded only Rs 3 lakh as compensation.
“Having due regard to the advanced age of the appellant, the fact that she has been pursuing this litigation for over a decade, has suffered loss of her material possessions, and has undergone immense agony and anxiety for a prolonged period of time, this court finds it appropriate to enhance the compensation awarded to Leela Mathur by a sum of Rs 9,00,000, which would be roughly half the cost of reconstruction, and the challenge by the MCD to the order dated February 12, 2020 awarding compensation of Rs 3,00,000 to Leela Mathur is rejected,” the order said.