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COVID Situation In Assam Tea Gardens: Gauhati High Court Seeks Response Of Assam Govt On Slew Of Issues

Sparsh Upadhyay
25 May 2021 4:04 PM GMT
COVID Situation In Assam Tea Gardens: Gauhati High Court Seeks Response Of Assam Govt On Slew Of Issues
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Dealing with a bunch of PILs relating to the present situation under the Covid-19 pandemic in the Tea Gardens of Assam, the Gauhati High Court on Monday (May 24) sought the response of the Assam Government on a slew of issues.The Bench of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak directed the state government to file a counter-affidavit to show as to the test being...

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Dealing with a bunch of PILs relating to the present situation under the Covid-19 pandemic in the Tea Gardens of Assam, the Gauhati High Court on Monday (May 24) sought the response of the Assam Government on a slew of issues.

The Bench of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak directed the state government to file a counter-affidavit to show as to the test being done and what kind of test is being done, for determination of COVID-19 infection in Assam Tea Gardens.

The matters before the Court

The Court was informed that there are about 800 Tea Gardens and 434 Tea Estates in Assam and the condition of workers in these Tea Gardens was an issue that had been raised before the Court.

The concern of the petitioners was that in these Tea Gardens, the Guidelines of the Government of India relating to the management of COVID management are not being followed and the Plantations Labour Act, 1951 and the Rules framed therein are also not being followed inasmuch as the COVID Care Centres within the Tea Gardens are taking care of only asymptomatic patients.

There were other concerns raised as well including the creation of Post COVID Clinic for the treatment of patients, who have suffered from COVID and need to be advised on various aspects after their recovery from COVID.

To this, the Advocate General, Assam, argued that the Government had been conscious of the health of workers in these Tea Gardens and out of 800 Tea Gardens, vaccination had already started in 208 of these Tea Gardens, out of which 28000 workers have been vaccinated and out of these 2000 have also received their second dose.

Other figures were also given by the AG, and considering those figures, the Court observed,

"The situation may not be as alarming as is being made out. Nevertheless, we want a written reply from the State, which must come on record before the next date."

As far as the Mobile Medical Units (MMU) and their use in these Tea Gardens was concerned, the Court remarked,

"We have absolutely no doubt that since the Government already have the resources, these Mobile Medical Units must be put in use for testing and other purposes in the Tea Gardens as well, if not already being done."

The matter has now been listed for further hearing on 31st May, 2021.

In related news, the Assam Government last week submitted before the Gauhati High Court that registration of persons between 18 to 44 years of age, for the purpose of vaccination, was not being done due to shortage of Vaccines

Appearing before the Bench of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Achintya Malla Bujor Barua, the Senior Standing Counsel, Government of Assam appeared for the State of Assam and apprised thE Court as to the measures being taken by the Government to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

Case title - Anjan Nagg v. Union Of India And 5 Ors. [Case No. : PIL/27/2021]

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