The Bombay high court (HC) on Thursday, as a humanitarian gesture, cautioned the citizens to keep their houses and surroundings clean and hygienic in the wake of the dengue outbreak in Maharashtra. The court also said that it should not be left entirely to the government to act.
“Government may use its machinery to prevent the spread of this dreaded disease but a responsibility is also cast upon the citizens to ensure that they keep their houses clean and free of mosquitoes,” said a headed by chief justice Mohit Shah while hearing a petition.
The HC was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL), filed by Vishnu Gavali, seeking to declare dengue, which has claimed several lives, as an epidemic. The court asked the Maharashtra government and directorate of health services in the state to file separate affidavits.
While the state government said it would file an affidavit on Friday, the directorate of health services has been asked to declare their stand in an affidavit by December 17.
The HC also asked the petitioner to make Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and other civic bodies as respondents.
Besides the state government and some civic bodies, the petitioner has also made CM Devendra Phadnavis, chief secretary of the state and city and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) as parties to the PIL.
When the matter came up hearing, only state and CIDCO were represented while others were absent. The bench then inquired about the parties and directed all the concerned to be present on next occasion in the court.
The petitioner argued that people suffered from dengue in Navi Mumbai as well and there was an urgent need to prevent the disease from spreading. Dengue had claimed several lives in Maharashtra, the petition said and demanded that the government should declare the disease as an epidemic.
Gavali said CIDCO was not taking enough steps to control the disease and said his organisation was doing its bit to spread awareness about cleanliness and hygiene in the city.
The bench then asked CIDCO to file an affidavit within two weeks.