The Delhi High Court on Monday slammed the AAP government and civic agencies for failing to provide publicity — to create awareness among the people — to mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya, their symptoms, cure and different treatment remedies.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Pratibha M. Singh noted that Delhi reported more cases of chikungunya this year as compared to the same period last year.
"We don't see a single advertisement on newspapers, boards or jingles (in radio). We are most dissatisfied with the status report. It does not have a word on programmes for public awareness… We don't hear any popular public figure making statement on this kind of diseases unlike in cases of polio or cancer," the bench said.
The court was hearing PILs claiming the government and civic agencies have not taken preventive steps against vector-borne diseases such as chikungunya and dengue.
The authorities were lacking in "aggression" as they had showed with other campaigns such as the Swachh Bharat, the bench said, adding: "Please educate the people. We don't want the people to suffer."
Last week, the court pulled up the government for celebrating National Dengue Day on May 16 without taking a single step to prevent it as proposed to the court.
It had said the government waited for the National Dengue Day to put out advertisements on its prevention and local or homemade cure.
According to the status report of South Delhi Municipal Corporation, 80 cases of chikungunya and 30 cases of dengue have already been reported in Delhi in just four months since January 1 this year, even though the season for vector-borne diseases in Delhi is between July and December.
In 2016, Delhi saw its first ever chikungunya outbreak that affected 9,661 people. In 2015, 16,000 dengue cases were reported and 60 people lost their lives to the disease.