January 15, 2022 9:57:02 am
Asking the Delhi government whether it has forgotten its election promises, the High Court Friday said the promises of “24 hours water supply in your home” and “drinking water from tap” are made every time there is an election.
During the hearing of a suo motu petition related to mosquito breeding and the spread of vector-borne diseases in Delhi, the division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh said, “Or you are never serious about them? These are all lollipops that you wave at the people.”
The court was earlier told that the supply of water in Delhi is also a contributing factor for such a situation since no water supply lines have been laid down properly by the Delhi Jal Board in various areas.
“There the people are dependent on tankers. They collect and keep water in their utensils and other things. Because of that also, if the tanker comes after 4-5 days… that will lead to some breeding,” said advocate Divya Prakash Pande, representing the South MCD and North MCD.
Advocate Sakshi Popli, representing the Delhi Jal Board, submitted that 24 hours supply is not available in all areas and in certain places, water is sent through tankers. “There is a schedule which is being adhered to,” submitted Popli.
Questioning why water lines have not been laid everywhere, the court said water can be supplied for limited areas there. “Why are you supplying through tankers and not through water lines,” asked the court.
The court on Friday was also told that two task forces have been formed by the corporations — one at the headquarter level and another at the zonal level – to deal with the mosquito breeding issue. A meeting of the authorities is to take place on January 21, the court was informed further.
The division bench said the task force has been insulated from groundwork, and the purpose of its last order was to work out a uniform protocol by all the corporations and other municipal bodies so that the roles of all individuals who have a role to play in the matter of prevention of mosquito breeding and spread of vector-borne diseases are clearly defined and individual responsibilities of all the officers are fixed.
It also said the hotspots in Delhi which are known to have more mosquito infestation should also be identified and special efforts be made to deal with the issue.
“In our view, the reasons for mosquito infestation and spread of vector-borne diseases are not merely seasonal. No doubt they may get heightened during the monsoon period. However, that does not mean other factors are not responsible for mosquito breeding and the spread of vector-borne diseases … It is for the municipal authorities to undertake a campaign to deal with such situations on a daily basis and the menace cannot be addressed only by addressing the problem in particular months of the year,” said the court.
It asked the Delhi government’s law department to expedite the pending proposals for increasing fines against mosquito breeding. The court will hear the case next on February 4
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