The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday criticised the Delhi government for its repeated failure to submit a status report on dengue and chikungunya in the city.
A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said it was “pained to note that all authorities concerned have not acted sincerely and with utmost sense of urgency while dealing with the matter related to public health issue in Delhi”.
The bench said that in case authorities failed to comply with the order, then each government department will pay R50,000 and that amount will be taken from the erring official of that department.
The order came when the court was hearing a petition filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal on behalf of a former Central Pollution Control Board scientist, Mahendra Pandey.
Pandey said action should be taken to ensure residents of Delhi are not exposed to serious diseases such as dengue and chikungunya.
On Monday too, the government did not file the status report.
The lawyer representing the Delhi government, however, said after the green court’s directions, a high-level committee has already been constituted. “We will file the status report within two days,” the lawyer had said.
This year, over 7,400 people were affected with chikungunya while over 3,000 caught the dengue virus this season, according to data available till October 15.
Earlier on September 21, the green court constituted a principal committee headed by the chief secretary of Delhi government to formulate an action plan to control the ‘outbreak’.
The committee -- including commissioners of all corporations, vice-chairman of DDA, head of the Delhi Cantonment Board, New Delhi Municipal Council, principal secretary of health and director general of health services of Delhi government as members -- was asked to submit a comprehensive report to the court within a fortnight.