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After SC rap, LG & ministers meet again over vector-borne diseases

After SC rap, LG & ministers meet again over vector-borne diseases
Following a fresh Supreme Court directive, Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung on Thursday chaired a second meeting with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Health Minister Satyendra Jain at Raj Niwas to chalk out an action plan to fight vector-borne diseases in Delhi.

The LG’s office said the detailed plan discussed at the meeting on dealing with the vector-borne diseases would be submitted to the Apex Court during the next hearing on October 17.

Earlier in the day, the top court had expressed disappointment over the outcome of Wednesday’s meeting between Jung and the Delhi government and asked them to hold another meeting this evening to firm up steps to check them.

The SC said that authorities were "not interested" and the people have been "left to suffer" on the handling of dengue and chikungunya menace in Delhi. "We have gone through the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday and we are quite disappointed with the outcome," a Bench of justices MB Lokur and Amitava Rao said.

"These people are not interested and the people of Delhi are left to suffer," the Bench observed and asked the LG and the Delhi government to hold another  meeting at 5.30pm on Thursday.

During the hearing, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for Delhi Chief Secretary, told the Bench that that LG would convene a meeting, in which those officers, who were directed to attend the meeting by the court in its October 4 order, would be present.

In accordance with the court’s order, Jung held the meeting at the LG Secretariat at 5:30 pm, where senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, who is an amicus curiae in the matter, was also present.

Gonsalves also expressed his views on how to tackle the menace of these vector-borne diseases.

“The suggestions made by learned Amicus Curiae Colin Gonsalves were taken up for discussion and largely agreed upon by all present,” sources said. However, the LG office did not divulge the action plan, which, it said, was “discussed thoroughly”.

Sources said point-to-point discussions on how to prevent the spread of vector-borne diseases in the national Capital were made in the meeting. They also said an action plan was chalked out so that these diseases do not recur.

Officers from various departments including Health, MCDs, Railways, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and Delhi Cantonment Board apprised Gonsalves of the steps taken by them to prevent the spread of dengue and chikungunya.

Criticising the authorities over their handling of dengue and chikungunya menace in morning, the Apex Court said, “We expect the participants (of meeting at LG Secretariat) to keep the interest of people of Delhi in mind while doing the entire exercise.” 

The Bench had also asked Gonsalves to attend the meeting and express his views on how to tackle the vector-borne diseases. The Bench directed that the participants should discuss the steps to be taken to prevent the problem faced by the people of Delhi this year and also the future measures.

"We expect the participants to keep the interest of people of Delhi in mind while doing the entire exercise," the Bench said, adding "we expect that the action taken is collaborative and cooperative".

The Apex Court had on October 4 directed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendra Jain to hold a meeting with LG Najeeb Jung, which was held on Wednesday. 

After the SC instructions, LG chaired a meeting, which was attended by Sisodia, Jain, Gonsalves, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GoI; CK Mishra, Chief Secretary/Principal Secretary (Finance) SN Sahai and DDA vice-chairman Uday Pratap Singh among others.
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