As dengue takes a toll on Delhiites, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has directed the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to immediately absorb 3,500 contractual health workers for setting up a regular task force to tackle the disease.
The workers were being engaged on contract basis since 1996 when dengue wreaked havoc in Delhi.
A bench comprising members Shanker Raju and R C Panda said MCD’s inability to have a regular task-force was against the “very object of the State to protect the health of its citizens.”
It added: “.. in an indirect manner, it amounts to deprivation of fundamental right guaranteed to the citizens of this country under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.”
The court referred to a permanent department dealing with the menace in NDMC and stated: “If the aedes mosquito are breeding in any part of the city of Delhi, it does not mean that it will breed perennially in New Delhi areas but would not spread in areas under MCD.”
In their petition before CAT, the ad-hoc health workers submitted various documents to prove MCD had prepared an action plan to combat vector borne diseases by setting up a task force of 3,500 workers.
“However, the corporation was not considering my clients for regular appointments. MCD was unwilling to consider them even though a special committee by the corporation’s standing committee had passed a resolution stating the petitioners should be made regular with immediate effect,” said Anand Nandan, counsel for some of the petitioners.