People ‘left to suffer’: Supreme Court on dengue and chikungunya menace in Delhi

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In a stinging criticism of the handling of dengue and chikungunya menace in Delhi, the Supreme Court on Thursday said the authorities in Delhi were “not interested” and the people have been “left to suffer”.

It also expressed disappointment over the outcome of yesterday’s meeting between the Lieutenant Governor and Delhi government on curbing vector-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya and asked them to hold another meeting this evening to firm up steps to check the diseases.

“We have gone through the minutes of meeting held yesterday and we are quiet disappointed with the outcome,” a bench of justices M B 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 Delhi Government to hold a meeting at 5.30 PM today to discuss the matter.

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

The bench also asked senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, who is an amicus curiae in the matter, to participate in the meeting and express his views on how to tackle the menace of these 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”.

It fixed the matter for further hearing on 17 October.

The apex court had on 4 October directed chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendra Jain to hold a meeting with LG Najeeb Jung, which was held on Wednesday, to chalk out a strategy for curbing vector-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya in the national capital, while warning Delhi government against indulging in blame game.

(With inputs from PTI)

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