HC asks Delhi to ensure proper utilisation of dengue funds

New Delhi, Oct 9 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the city government to ensure that grant-in-aid released to civic bodies was utilised properly to control the dengue menace.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath also asked the government to constantly monitor the steps that are being taken by various departments for properly implementation of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme.

The court’s order came after a PIL was filed by Congress leader Ajay Maken, who accused the Aam Aad mi Party government and municipal corporations of not being adequately prepared to control dengue.

“The only direction needs to be issued is that the Delhi government shall ensure that the grant-in-aid released is properly utilized by the Municipal Corporations for taking all the necessary measures for controlling and prevention of the dengue cases.

“There shall also be a direction to the Delhi government to constantly monitor the steps that are being taken by various departments in coordination with the committee constituted under the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme,” said the bench in its order.

Maken, through advocate Aman Panwar, had told the court that the government allocated Rs.81.52 crore towards malaria and dengue control programmes but did not release the entire fund.

The government, however, informed the court that Rs.60 crore was released to the three municipal corporations for sanitation programmes to deal with the dengue outbreak.

The first installment amounting to 25 percent of the total funds was allocated to the three corporations on September 17 and the second installment of 50 percent released on September 22, the government said.

The court took into note the submissions of the Delhi government and said that its affidavit has reflected that it has undertaken several initiatives to control the growing incidents of dengue in Delhi which included providing toll-free dengue helpline, fever clinics at 55 Delhi government dispensaries which are working in double shifts even on Sundays and holidays etc.

The affidavit also reflects the strategic initiatives taken by the government to manage the crisis and to ensure better coordination and management amongst the authorities of various departments, training programmes to better equip volunteers, officers and inspectors to fight the rising crisis of dengue etc., said the bench.

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