The Delhi High Court today directed the AAP government and civic bodies to ensure that no dengue or chikungunya cases occur this year in the national capital. "You (government and civic bodies) must ensure that this time, the same things do not occur again," a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra said. The court also asked the agencies to inform it about what preventive steps they have taken in comparison to last year with regard to breeding of dengue mosquitoes. Expressing concern over the numerous deaths in 2016, the bench said the authorities concerned should have a policy, instead of shifting the blame on each other, to stop recurrence of mosquito-borne tropical diseases. It directed the government and municipal bodies to place before it the action taken report, explaining the steps proposed to be taken by them to control vector-borne diseases.
It fixed the matter for May 1. The court has been hearing pleas accusing the AAP government and MCDs of not acting vigilantly and responsibly to control dengue and chikungunya. Four dengue deaths and as many as 1158 dengue and 1057 chikungunya cases have been reported in the national capital till September 10 last year. Delhi government's senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra, meanwhile, denied claims of the petitioner that Delhi was facing the "worst dengue crisis" and a slew of measures have been taken to control these vector-borne diseases. He submitted that the Delhi government was continuously taking steps and has even held a high level meeting in this regard. Public awareness campaigns like information, education and communication are also being carried out, Mehra submitted. Out of two petitions, one was filed by law student Gauri Grover who has sought lodging of FIR against directors of hospitals which had denied treatment to a seven-year-old boy, who died of dengue and whose parents subsequently committed suicide in September 2015. In her petition, she had alleged that the boy had died due to the callous attitude of the hospitals. A PIL was also filed by an advocates in the wake of dengue deaths and cases in the national capital. The court had earlier asked the Centre and AAP government on another plea by advocate Arpit Bhargava to explain the steps taken by them to contain the disease while voicing concern over the rise of dengue cases. It had also asked the three municipal corporations and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to explain the steps taken by them in this regard.
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