Delhi High Court has directed Delhi government and South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to take all actions, such as fumigation and stisation where health workers are residing, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Justice Asha Menon, after hearing a petition on Thursday, also sought an action taken report from the respondents and slated the matter for further hearing on May 28.
The High Court directed to take actions, such as fumigation and stisation, similar to the measures being adopted for containment zones, in the area in question and may also adopt the practice/protocol in other areas where health workers are residing, which would assuage fears of other residents in the locality, that they may be exposed to a greater risk of infection.
The directions were passed on a petition seeking directions to respondents to perform their duties to ensure that all the directives laid down for COVID-19 management are carried out in and around property bearing number 197-C, Cariappa Marg, MB Road, Delhi and ensure that no guest house is run illegally and neither any portion of the said property is rented out to any person whatsoever who can be a threat to the life and safety of the residents.
The petition, filed by a senior citizen named Dr l Dhalla, sought directions to prevent the respondent to grant any permission, license or approval to run any guest house in the vicinity of Cariappa Marg till all the directives laid down by government are duly complied with and safety and well being of residents are assured.
Advocate Rishikesh Kumar, counsel for the respondent/DM South, said that the healthcare workers are the front-line warriors of the COVID-19 pandemic and cannot be asked to move away from the property in question. The court concurred with this submission.
On the other hand, petitioner's counsel advocate Neha Jain submitted that since the petitioner is a senior citizen living with five other senior citizens, with what is described as 'co-morbidities', they are anxious about their health and well-being as measures relating to hygiene are not being adhered to by the occupants of the property who are numerous in number and which opens the petitioner and the other residents to a great risk of infection.
"While no one has a right to ask for the removal of the resident health workers from their neighbourhood because of an unrealistic fear of the COVID-19, the GNCTD and SDMC cannot escape their obligation to provide a protected environment to the senior citizens and other residents adjacent to such buildings which are occupied by the health workers," Jain said.
She said that this includes regular fumigation and stisation while ensuring that all measures of hygiene are adhered to by the occupants.
It is to be noted that senior citizens above the age of 65 years have their movement restricted as they are not allowed to leave their homes and their concerns cannot be wished away by the authorities, who are obligated to take care of all citizens, Jain submitted.
( With inputs from ANI )