The National Green Tribunal has come down heavily on the Delhi government over its handling of vector diseases like dengue and chikungunya. It took strong exception over non-submission of status report by the Delhi government on the steps taken by it to tackle the said diseases in the national capital.
“It is very unfortunate and sad that in such a serious matter like this you have failed to file status report despite our direction. The people here are suffering, you should consider this fact at least,” a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar observed while expressing displeasure over delay in submission of the report.
The Delhi government informed the bench that as per the orders of the NGT, it had constituted the high-level committee and would submit status report within two days.
The bench then posted the matter for next hearing on October 19.
The tribunal had earlier hit out at Delhi government, civic bodies and other public authorities for making “unbelievable” claims and “vague statements” regarding steps to tackle diseases like dengue and chikungunya.
It had said the right to clean, decent environment and public health was a fundamental right and financial limitations should not come in the way of providing good health and environment to the people.
While issuing a slew of directions, the bench had constituted a principal committee headed by the Chief Secretary of Delhi Government and comprising Commissioners of all corporations, Vice Chairman of DDA, Head of the Cantonment Board, New Delhi Municipal Council, Principal Secretary of Health and Director General of Health Services of Delhi Government as members to deal with the “menace” of these vector-borne diseases.
The bench was hearing a petition by former scientist of Central Pollution Control Board Mahendra Pandey for issuance of directions and setting up of committees to implement precautionary, preventive and curative actions to ensure that the residents of Delhi are not exposed to serious diseases like Dengue, Chikungunya and other allied diseases.
The plea mentioned through advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal had also sought direction to authorites for not doing outdoor thermal fogging, to control dengue, saying it was allegedly anti-environment and caused air pollution.