The Delhi High Court today favoured the setting up of a high-level committee for taking effective measures against recurrence of dengue and chikungunya this year in the national capital. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra said this year, the authorities have to be ready with their plans in advance so that no such cases occur.
According to the data, 4,431 cases of dengue were reported in 2016 and the number of chikungunya cases stood at 9,749 — one of the worst outbreaks of the disease so far. Taking note of this, the bench said, “We are thinking of setting up a high level committee, to monitor in advance that no dengue and chikungunya cases occur in the city this year.
“We need to be prepared so that vector-borne diseases are stopped from occurring this time,” the bench said, adding that the action taken reports of the authorities have given nothing on the outbreak of dengue and chikungunya.
However, as per a status report of South Delhi Municipal Corporation, 80 cases of chikungunya and 30 cases of dengue have already been reported in Delhi in just four months since January 1 this year, even though the season for vector-borne diseases in Delhi is between July and December.
The court asked all the local bodies to place before it their respective statutes to ascertain who can be held responsible for ensuring that the court’s directions are complied with.
The bench observed that this year the authorities have to be held accountable as there are already cases of Typhoid in the city.
Even Delhi Jal Board has to ensure that good water is supplied to the people for drinking, as many of the diseases occur due to poor water supply, the bench said and issued notice to the civic body seeking its stand by May 12.
The court’s observations came during hearing of two pleas accusing the AAP government and MCDs of not acting vigilantly and responsibly to control dengue and chikungunya outbreaks.
Of the two petitions, one was filed by law student Gauri Grover who has sought lodging of FIR against directors of hospitals which had denied treatment to a seven-year-old boy who died of dengue and whose parents subsequently committed suicide in September 2015. She had alleged that the boy had died due to the callous attitude of the hospitals.
The court had earlier asked the Centre and AAP government on the second PIL, filed by advocate Arpit Bhargava, to explain the steps taken by them to contain the disease while voicing concern over the rise of dengue cases.