The Bombay High Court expressed its displeasure over the failure of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) to file a reply to a petition on steps taken to tackle vector-borne and water-borne diseases, including leptospirosis, H1N1, dengue, swine flu and malaria.
Taking a serious view of this lapse, a division bench, headed by Justice Abhay Oka, warned that if the reply was not filed on June 17, it would issue contempt notice to the Municipal Commissioner.
The bench made it clear that it was giving a last chance to the civic body to file a reply to the petition filed by NCP corporator Dhananjay Pisal and adjourned the matter till June 17.
On April 22, the high court had asked the MCGM to file a reply by June 7. When the petition came up for hearing today, MCGM did not file a reply, hich invited the high court’s displeasure.
On the last occasion, the HC also asked MCGM to inform whether it was utilising funds on public health earmarked in its budget.
Petitioners counsel Umesh Mohite had urged the high court to direct formation of a special investigating team to probe how the civic body utilised the money allotted for public health.
According to the PIL, a whopping amount of Rs. 3,700 crore was earmarked this year in the budget of the civic body for public health but the funds are not being utilised fully and it has been observed from previous records that only 18 to 20 per cent of the funds earmarked for healthcare was used by the municipal corporation.
Stating that only one civic hospital has facilities to test samples for leptospirosis, the petition demanded that all municipal hospitals should have this facility so as to save crucial time in bringing a patient to the sample test centre as the delay could prove fatal for patients.
The PIL sought a probe into the failure of civic hospitals in providing medicine, equipment and staff for public health despite having a budget to tackle the water-borne and vector-borne diseases.