A report submitted to the Delhi High Court on Wednesday, by the director of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), P K Sen, shows a large number of vacancies under the malaria control head.
The bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar, however, noted that the “comprehensive report” had mentioned “huge vacancies” (see box).
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain told the court that according to the information given by the North Delhi municipal commissioner, the recruitment process was initiated but pending. Stating that the civic bodies were again “shifting the blame” (to recruiting agencies), the bench said MCD officials were “saving their skin” while asking the general public “to take a walk”.
Earlier, the court had directed the NVBDCP to “make a comprehensive action plan from every angle, which the municipal and civic authorities must implement, so that the problem of vector-borne diseases is minimised and ultimately eliminated”.
Underlining the spiralling number of dengue, chikungunya and malaria cases, the report said the probable reasons for the increase includes demographic and societal changes, improper solid waste management, shortage of water supply and storage/dumping of used tyres.
The report suggested taking steps such as making an annual action plan, hospital preparedness, expansion of diagnostic facilities, ensuring availability of blood components in blood banks and monitoring of insect vectors responsible for spreading the diseases.
While the report suggested mapping of high-risk areas, it said there was no single method to eliminate breeding of mosquitoes in residential areas.
For non-residential areas, the report said measures such as proper disposal of solid waste, visiting and taking action at important breeding sites, and regular checking should be undertaken. “The programme recommends fogging only when a large area is affected and transmission is at high pace,” the report said.