New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear next week a PIL alleging the apathy of Delhi civic bodies which has led certain areas to look like garbage dumps and the outbreak of diseases like chikungunya.
"Let it be listed for hearing on Monday (26 September)," a bench comprising Justices AR Dave and L Nageswara Rao said when senior advocate Colin Gonsalves mentioned the plea for urgent hearing.
"Certain areas falling under the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) have become garbage dumping grounds where mosquitoes are breeding," Gonsalves said.
The PIL, filed by Delhi-based doctor Anil Mittal, has sought a direction that a panel of experts be set up to ascertain the steps taken to tackle diseases like chikungunya in country in general and Delhi in particular.
The senior lawyer referred to photographs, annexed with the PIL, showing heaps of garbage lying in residential areas of south Delhi and alleging that the civic body (SDMC) was not rising to the occasion.
The plea also soought directions for authorities in Delhi and the central government on how to deal with the crisis.
During the hearing, the bench, in a lighter vein, asked the lawyer as to whether the doctor has made "mosquitoes as parties" to the PIL or not.
On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court expressed concern over rise in dengue and chikungunya cases and asked all city hospitals, including those run by the Centre and AAP government, not to deny treatment to patients.
It also ordered that steps be taken by both governments to increase the strength of doctors, nurses and other staff in hospitals by engaging "retired personnel, if so required, to meet the exigencies".
Over 2,600 chikungunya cases have been reported in Delhi till 17 September and the disease has caused 15 deaths so far. Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes, causing high fever and severe joint pain.