Considering the “urgency and seriousness” required to tackle suspected cases of Ebola, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed Maharashtra government to provide screening facilities at the international airports in Pune and Nagpur, on the lines of the existing facilities at Mumbai airport, within 48 hours.
Justices A S Oka and G S Kulkarni took note of the affidavit filed by the Centre that said there were six flights arriving in Pune from the Ebola-affected nations via Dubai and Sharjah. In addition, there were three flights landing at the Nagpur airport from Dubai.
“If the Central government has provided facilities, the state should also provide the same facilities. If steps are delayed, you (state) know the consequences,” the bench said. Though adequate steps have been taken, the two airports in Pune and Nagpur left scope for concern, the bench added.
“(The) state should adopt same measures, which (the) Union has adopted. Considering urgency and seriousness, we direct the state to provide adequate facilities at Pune and Nagpur on par with the facilities at the international airport in Mumbai,” the court ordered.
The High Court has also asked the state government to file a compliance affidavit on or before September 12.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar, who had sought ban on entry of people travelling from west African countries to India, especially to Mumbai.
The Centre had earlier informed the court that all passengers arriving on aircraft originating from the four Ebola-affected west African nations were subjected to a “hi-tech” thermal scanners installed at the entry points of airports.
It added that passengers who approached immigration counters without undergoing health check-up were refused clearances and sent back to the health counters. They are bound to get a stamp and doctor’s signature.