HC seeks Centre’s long-term strategy

The Centre was asked by the Delhi High Court  on Wednesday to submit to it a report on the implementation of the government’s long-term action plan to control the outbreak of dangerous diseases like dengue in the city.

A division bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw sought the report within three weeks from the Union Ministry of Health and posted the matter for 12 December.

Appearing for the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Rajeev Mehra said, ‘The officials are doing something on the issue (of implementing the action plan). Let me file a report on it.’

Accepting the ASG’s submissions, the court granted three weeks time to him to file the report.

The court’s direction came during hearing of a petition by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal seeking formation of an independent committee to monitor implementation of a long-term action plan, formulated by the Centre earlier, to combat the mosquito menace in the city.

In his plea, Bansal 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, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the 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 can come to an end,’ the plea said.

Citing data of dengue cases in the Capital for the period 2007-2012, the petitioner said the number of cases have gone up drastically this year as compared to previous years.

The petition also mentioned the widespread media reports on the increasing number of dengue cases and accusing the authorities, including those of the Union health ministry, of failing to act in time to prevent dengue outbreak.

The petition claimed the authorities wake up only after an acute shortage of blood and medicines occurs in hospitals.

The PIL wanted the court to examine the 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 Union and the state governments, those of the municipal bodies and it results into non-implementation of the long-term action plan of the Central government,’ the PIL added.
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