Delhi High Court has directed the Union of India, Delhi Government, as well as all the municipal corporations in Delhi to submit affidavits stating the measures taken by them to ensure the adequate sanitization of safai karamcharis.
The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad has asked the authorities to inform the court as to whether sanitizing cubicles have been installed by the civic authorities in each ward.
The order has come in a PIL filed by Mr Harnam Singh, seeking a direction to be issued to the government authorities to ensure there are proper measures in place to make sure that safai karamcharis are not exposed to the COVID19 infection.
The Petitioner has also highlighted the issue of medical waste being dumped at common dumping grounds which can itself be a breeding ground of COVID-19 infection if any person unknowingly comes in contact with infected PPE kits as also gloves, masks etc.
In today's proceedings, the court noted that the affidavits submitted by the concerned authorities are devoid of material particulars and do not throw any light on the number of safai karamcharis in their jurisdiction vis-a-vis the number of masks, gloves and other PPE kits that are provided to them on a day to day basis.
These affidavits, the court observed, also do not indicate the number of Containment zones declared in their jurisdiction for the court to understand as to whether the requirements of the safai karamcharis in those areas which are more critical, have been adequately met or not.
In light of these developments, the court has given a last opportunity to the concerned authorities to submit their additional affidavits within one week.
The court further directed authorities to ensure that:
'the presence of an Officer competent to assist the Court on the next date of hearing so that any other query that may be posed in the course of arguments, can be adequately addressed without having to adjourn the matter.'
In the last hearing, the court had asked both the Union of India and the Delhi Government to address the discrepancy in their data regarding the availability of PPE kits and masks in the State of Delhi.
The court will next take up this matter on June 09.
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