Delhi High Court on Tuesday rapped the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government in Delhi for failing to take appropriate steps against spreading of vector-borne diseases like dengue, ANI reported. Saying that “mosquitoes don’t wait for meetings”, HC asked the MCD to conduct mapping of vulnerable areas where dengue or chikungunya cases have occurred. The news comes two days after a principal bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) appointed 10 lawyers as local commissioners to check, inspect and prepare inspection reports on the issue of dengue menace afflicting the national capital Delhi. In its direction, the bench asked all corporations, the National Capital Territory of Delhi and Delhi Police to assist the lawyers. NGTs ruling came after a petition was filed by former Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) scientist Mahendra Pandey who claimed that all civic and sanitation authorities have failed to effectively combat the menace of dengue in Delhi. As per an ANI report, at least 79 cases of chikungunya and 24 cases of dengue were reported in Delhi according to the data provided by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC). The report claimed that 11 patients had acquired the infection from one of Delhi’s neighbouring states. While the data from SDMC also showed that of the nine new cases of chikungunya that were reported in the capital, none were from Delhi.
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“We are concerned with the preservation of water bodies in Delhi,” a bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal said while issuing a notice to the AAP government and posted the matter for hearing on May 25. Chikungunya and dengue cases in Delhi had created an emergency-like situation in the first week of December last year. Taking lessons from the previous years’ incidents, the government and the corporations have started surveillance activities earlier, a report said. As per municipal corporations data, 77,36,220 houses have already been inspected. This year, Delhi government has also started awareness programme for mosquito-borne diseases in March itself.