Delhi High Court has held that while no one has a right to ask for the removal of the resident health workers from their neighbourhood because of an unrealistic fear of the Covid-19, the Delhi Government cannot escape their obligation to provide a protected environment to the senior citizens and other residents adjacent to such buildings which are occupied by the health workers.
The Single Bench of Justice Asha Menon further noted that the said measures shall include regular fumigation and sanitization while ensuring that all measures of hygiene are adhered to by the occupants.
The order has come in a PIL seeking a direction to the Delhi Government to ensure that no guest house is run illegally and neither any portion of the said property is rented out to any person whatsoever who can be a threat to the life and safety of the residents.
The Petitioner had submitted that he's a senior citizen, and he along with other senior citizens with co-morbidities, are anxious about their health and well-being as measures relating to hygiene are not being adhered to by the occupants of property bearing no. 197-C, Cariappa Marg, M.B.Road, Delhi.
The said property is used as a guest house for the frontline health workers.
Mr Rishikesh Kumar, who appeared for the District Magistrate (South), argued that health workers are the front-line warriors of the COVID-19 pandemic and cannot be asked to move away from the property in question.
After taking these submissions into consideration, the court noted that:
'senior citizens above the age of 65 years have their movement restricted as they are not even allowed to leave their homes and their concerns cannot be wished away by the government authorities, who are obligated to take care of all the citizens.'
Therefore, the court directed the Delhi Government as well as DM (South) to take all action, such as fumigation and sanitization, similar to the measures as are being adopted for Containment/Buffer Zones, in the area in question and may also adopt the practice/protocol in other zone/areas where health workers are residing, which would also assuage the fears of other residents in the same locality, that they may be exposed to greater risk of infection.