HC seeks report on steps taken to prevent dengue

Last Updated: Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:20 hrs

New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought a report from the central government on a petition seeking implementation of a long-term action plan to control outbreak of dangerous or epidemic diseases like dengue in the capital city.

A division bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw sought reply within three weeks from the health ministry and posted the matter for Dec 12.

Appearing for the central government, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Rajeev Mehra submitted that the officials are taking steps on the issue and report on this would be filed soon.

Accepting the submissions of the ASG, the court granted the government three weeks' time.

The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal asking the court to set up an independent committee to monitor implementation of a long-term action plan to combat the mosquito menace in the city.

The plea said: "Direct the respondents to constitute an independent committee to effectively monitor the implementation of the long-term action plan issued by the Directorate of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India."

"It is the duty of the respondents to effectively and properly implement the long-term action plan issued by the respondent No. 1 (central government) in a time-bound manner so that the dengue menace come to an end," it said.

Citing the data on dengue cases in the city between the period 2007-2012, the petitioner said that the number of cases has gone up drastically this year as compared to previous years.

The plea also mentioned the widespread media reports on the increasing number of dengue cases, accusing the civic authorities and the health ministry of failing to act in time to prevent a dengue outbreak, and claimed that they wake up only after there is an acute shortage of blood and medicines in hospitals.

The PIL sought the court's intervention and demanded a list of steps taken till now by the Delhi government, the municipal corporations, the New Delhi Municipal Council and the health department.

"There is a lack of coordination among the officials of the central, state government and the officials of the municipal authorities which results into the non-implementation of the long-term action plan issued," the PIL added.

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