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Madras High Court Issues Directions To Prevent Spread Of Dengue In The State

Nupur Thapliyal
9 Jan 2021 8:29 AM GMT
Madras High Court Issues Directions To Prevent Spread Of Dengue In The State
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A division bench of Madras High Court comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilumar Ramamoorthy issued slew of directions on Wednesday (6th January 2021) in a writ of mandamus seeking directions on the State Health Department and Municipal Bodies in failing to prevent the spread of dengue in different parts of the State since 2019. BACKGROUND OF...

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A division bench of Madras High Court comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilumar Ramamoorthy issued slew of directions on Wednesday (6th January 2021) in a writ of mandamus seeking directions on the State Health Department and Municipal Bodies in failing to prevent the spread of dengue in different parts of the State since 2019.

BACKGROUND OF THE PETITION

The petition was filed after widespread cases of dengue infection were reported in Chennai in the year 2019. The petitioner had filed a writ of mandamus seeking directions on the State authorities who had failed to take appropriate measures in preventing the spread.

However, cases of dengue were reported in Chennai even in the year 2020. Therefore, in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, it had become more necessary for the court to take up the matter for consideration in issuing appropriate directions on the respondents.

OBSERVATION OF THE COURT

The Bench had observed that though the petition was filed specifically focussing on the spread of dengue in Chennai, cases were reported in other parts of the State and therefore, it was important for the Court to issue directions to authorities of the entire State including towns and cities.

"Indeed, the matter need not be confined to Chennai and may be seen to cover the entire State, including the other towns and cities, where migration leads to the additional people living in poor and unhygienic conditions, allowing stagnant water to remain and creating the breeding grounds for the larvae." The bench observed.

The bench also took note of the reasons which might have led to the expansion of dengue infection all across the State including poor unhygienic living conditions, stagnant water or water blockage and breeding of larva.

DIRECTIONS OF THE COURT

The Court while analyzing the seriousness of the health concerns issued the following directions to the respondents:

  1. Health Department of the State to convene a meeting comprising of all health departments and municipal bodies of principal towns. In case physical meetings are not possible, efforts should be made by the Respondent to conduct meetings online using the help of technology.
  2. Such meeting should prepare a road map to deal with the dengue menace.
  3. The health department should endeavour to obtain expert advice with regards to the prevention of spread of disease and also to ensure awareness of spread to the most vulnerable strata.
  4. Regular attempts must be made to remove stagnant water and to educate people to cover water which may be collected for future use.
  5. Expert Body can look into the use repellents and other chemicals on a regular basis to prevent the spread of dengue. Followed by this, advisories must be issued by the health department.
  6. Health department must constantly monitor the implementation of scheme especially in towns and areas which have history of showing signs of greater infection risks or are more amenable to an outbreak.
  7. Secretary, Health Department to file a report in 8 weeks.
  8. Municipal Corporation, Chennai to file a status report indicating steps taken in clearing railway platforms in and around the city and other areas where vehicles are parked resulting in water stagnation.
  9. Areas occupied by fishermen must be given special attention as they have the tendency of having larger collection of stagnated water.
  10. Efforts may be made by Director Vector Control, Research Centre, Research Body to explore the possibilities of developing a vaccine and a paper to indicate measures for prevention of the dengue.

Name of the Case: A.P. Suryaprakasam v. State of T.N. & Ors.

Order Dated: 06.01.2021

Next Date of Hearing: 03.03.2021

Click Here To Download Order

[Read Order]



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