With two deaths and over 1,000 confirmed dengue and chikungunya cases being reported in the national capital, Delhi High Court today asked the AAP government to inform it about the action they have taken to combat the vector-borne diseases in New Delhi.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal directed Delhi government to place the record with regard to measures taken by them after it was told that they had failed to do so despite giving assurance to the court last year.
“What legislative (the power to make laws) measures you (Delhi government) have taken place on record before the next date of hearing, September 13,” the bench said.
The court’s direction came after it was informed by petitioner advocate Shahid Ali that Delhi government has failed to take action despite mentioning in their affidavit last year that they were in process of undertaking legislative measures to combat any future contingencies arising out of failure to meet necessary health standards by the hospitals and clinical establishments in New Delhi.
The advocate made the submission during a hearing on his plea which accused the authorities concerned of not acting vigilantly and responsibly to control the diseases.
The civic bodies submitted that their public health departments were taking all measures for prevention and control of dengue, chikungunya and malaria in their jurisdiction.
“502 confirmed dengue cases, 560 chikungunya cases and two confirmed dengue deaths have been reported from Delhi. Out of these 138 dengue cases, 63 chikungunya cases and two deaths due to dengue have been reported from SDMC by September 3, 2016,” South Delhi Municipal Corporation said in their affidavit.
They were responding to the PIL, which alleged that despite a large number of cases of dengue being reported this year, the authorities have not been “rising up and taking measures to prevent the disease or mosquito breeding”.
“Delhi this year has been facing the worst dengue crisis in five years, as all the three civic bodies, particularly South Delhi Municipal Corporation, and the Delhi government have failed to discharge their statutory duties, though it is their responsibility to take preventive measures to control this disease,” the plea has said.
The plea has not only sought an order to Delhi government and statutory bodies to control the menace but also initiation of an inquiry as to whether they could have controlled the menace and prevented breeding of mosquitoes.
The plea also asked whether Delhi government has released enough money to the civic bodies to take measures to tackle the menace and why sprinkling of medicines and fogging have not been done in various areas.
The petitioner said the disease claimed its first victim on July 21 when a girl from Jafrabad in northeast Delhi died at Lok Nayak Jay Prakash (LNJP) Hospital here.
It has said “Okhla MLA Amannatullah Khan’s sister-in-law died of dengue on August 12 at Apollo Hospital. A total of 91 cases were reported in July, six cases were recorded in May, while June witnessed 15. Thirty-four fresh cases were reported till August 20 since the last count and the total number of cases so far in the city is more than 320.”
“Despite so many deaths, civic bodies have not been rising up and taking measures to prevent disease or breeding of mosquitoes and even safai karamcharis are rarely spotted in the areas…because nearly 80 per cent of these areas are unauthorised,” it has alleged.
Earlier, a similar plea was filed, in which the bench has already reserved its verdict.
The MCDs should be directed to urgently undertake special fumigation and sanitation drives and anti-mosquito breeding operations in their respective areas, the new PIL has said.