The Supreme Court on Thursday said people in Delhi were “left to suffer” because the local authorities were “not interested” in handling the chikungunya and dengue menace in the Capital. The court asked the Arvind Kejriwal government and Lieutenant-General Najeeb Jung to hold a meeting at 5.30 pm on Thursday to discuss ways to contain the spread of the diseases. The bench expressed displeasure over the outcome of a meeting held with the same agenda on Wednesday.
A bench of justices MB Lokur and Amitava Rao said, “We have gone through the minutes of meeting held yesterday and we are quite disappointed with the outcome.” The court asked senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, who is an amicus curiae in the matter, to attend the meeting. “We expect the participants to keep the interest of people of Delhi in mind while doing the entire exercise. We expect that the action taken is collaborative and cooperative,” the bench said. The court will hear the matter next on October 17.
On October 3, the apex court fined the Aam Aadmi Party government Rs 25,000 for delaying its report on the officials who were not cooperating with it to tackle vector-borne diseases. The court on September 30 had asked the Aam Aadmi Party government to file the names and evidence against the officers that were not discharging their duties.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led government has blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party-run Municipal Corporation of Delhi for the rise in the number of chikungunya and dengue cases in the Capital. While the National Green Tribunal had pulled up the city’s municipal bodies for the disease outbreak, the Delhi High Court had asked the AAP government to ensure that hospitals provided treatment to every patient that approached them.
So far, at least 19 people have died from complications caused by chikungunya, with more than 2,600 cases of the disease being reported in the national capital.