The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the city government and civic agencies to give name of the officers who could be held liable to ensure that no dengue or chikungunya cases occur this year in the national capital. A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra asked the government and the agencies to name senior officers who will certify that there will be no cases of mosquito-borne tropical diseases here and that authorities have taken all preventive actions.
The bench said: “Who will give us the certificate that there will be no dengue this year? Who will assure this court? We are talking of life of people here. Can you permit 21st century Delhi to be reeling under malaria, chikungunya, dengue…”
The court said it wanted the senior officers of the authorities concerned to not just submit status report by sitting in air-conditioned rooms but to visit the field and do physical monitoring also. “We don’t want a status report, we want an inspection report,” said the court.
It further said that a lot of hospitals in Delhi remain underused and there was need to increase the number of beds to deal with additional requirements of beds during outbreak of vector-borne diseases.
The court’s direction came on two PILs accusing the Aam Aadmi Party government and the three municipal corporations of not acting vigilantly and responsibly in tackling mosquito-borne diseases.
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Expressing concern over the numerous deaths in 2016, it also asked the agencies to inform it about what preventive steps they have taken in comparison to last year with regard to dengue, chikungunya, and malaria.
As per status report of South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), at least 80 cases of chikungunya and 30 cases of dengue have been reported in Delhi in just four months since January 1. These cases were reported though the season for vector-borne diseases in Delhi is between July and December.
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 outbreak for the disease till now.