NEW DELHI: Delhi High Court has asked the civic agencies in the national capital to have a "preventive" attitude, and not curative, in order to contain spread of vector-borne diseases like dengue and malaria.
"Attitude should be preventive and not curative," a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva said, adding that proper cleaning of drains could prevent spread of such diseases.
The court also questioned what the civic agencies and other local authorities were doing as it had to intervene to ensure that people of the national capital get CCTV cameras for safety, proper policing, clean drains and garbage-free streets.
"What are the authorities doing? We are working to provide CCTVs, police, cleaning of drains and garbage, for the people who are up in arms," it said.
It directed the Public Works Department (PWD) of Delhi government to file a status report indicating the manner and times at which the drains are cleaned and listed the matter for further hearing on October 28.
The court's observations came during the hearing of a PIL pertaining to cleaning up of various colonies in different districts of the capital.
The bench was also referring to another matter it was dealing with regarding the installation of CCTV cameras in the city as well as induction of additional personnel in the Delhi Police.
It also wondered "why does it not strike" the municipal corporations to provide proper gear to their employees engaged in cleaning of the 'dhalaos' (garbage dumps).
It also suggested devising another method of cleaning the dumps, instead of people manually collecting the garbage and putting it in trucks.
The court, during the hearing, noted that some of the areas in the capital which were identified for more attention from civic agencies had been cleaned to some extent.
It, however, said that more was needed to be done.
After it had directed the South Delhi Municipal Corporation to clean up Lajpat Nagar and maintain it, the high court had told the other two municipal bodies to ensure proper cleanliness in a colony each under their jurisdiction.
The court had directed the East Delhi municipal body to clean up Patparganj, while north MCD was told to take up the western extension area (WEA) of Karol Bagh.
It had also directed them to file status reports with pictures, and when it perused the images on Wednesday, it noted that the people cleaning up the garbage did not have proper gear like gloves and overcoats.
The PIL has been filed by NGO Nyay Bhoomi alleging that government agencies have failed to improve the conditions in the city despite the Supreme Court's observation in 1996 that the "historical city of Delhi, the capital of India, is one of the most polluted cities in the world".
The court had on March 18 directed SDMC and other civic bodies to start cleaning the entire Lajpat Nagar from the next day and maintain it that way as a "test" of their "efficiency and ability" to keep the city clean.
The high court had issued the direction to see if the civic bodies were "capable" of maintaining cleanliness in a model area "or else we will disband the corporations".