The Delhi High Court on Tuesday said that the AAP government should run awareness programmes on dengue and chikungunya, similar to that of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said as the Swachh Bharat had Abhiyan made a big impact across the nation, the Delhi government should do something similar.
“It is a very good attempt by the central government. It is everywhere, whether its TV, radio or newspapers. So something on that line should be done for dengue and chikungunya,” the bench observed and told the Delhi government “you should do that”.
The bench also pulled up the Centre, the Delhi government and the civic bodies here over their failure to issue advertisements highlighting the preventive steps to check vector-borne diseases in the city.
However, the counsel for all the authorities submitted that preventive steps have been taken and advertisements also issued. The counsel for the Centre said they had long-term plans to tackle vector-borne diseases, to which the court asked whether they had any short-term plans.
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It also asked the Delhi government counsel why they were pulling senior doctors from their hospitals to Mohalla Clinics in different parts of the city. “It is a very good concept, but you (Delhi government) should not pull out the senior doctors from the hospitals,” the bench said.
The court’s oral observation came during the hearing of two PILs seeking directions to the authorities to take steps to stop the outbreak of vector-borne and other diseases in the national capital.
Earlier, the high court had said the aggression shown in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign by the Centre would have yielded better results if it was also shown in spreading awareness about dengue and chikungunya.
The court had also expressed displeasure over the report that already 90 cases of chikungunya and 36 cases of dengue have been reported so far this year and that too, when humidity level was yet to rise and monsoon yet to arrive.
As many as 4,431 cases of dengue were reported till the end of 2016 in Delhi, according to a report of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation which tabulates the data on behalf of all the three municipal corporations in the city.