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Delhi High Court asks government to ensure mohalla clinics are not set up in schools

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the authorities to ensure that mohalla clinics are not set up in schools as it would affect children's entry in the institutions and make the places unsafe.

The court also asked the AAP government and civic bodies to explore the feasibility of setting up Mohalla Clinics at the various sites proposed by the DDA.

"Nowadays children are already so vulnerable to exploitation. Do not block their entry in the schools by such steps. Ensure that you do not render safe places unsafe. It's a  legitimate concern," a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said.

To this, the Delhi government counsel Sanjoy Ghosh said that as per the court's earlier order, no MCD schools were being used for mohalla clinics.

 Delhi High Court asks government to ensure mohalla clinics are not set up in schools

File image of Delhi High Court. PTI

The court's observation came after advocate Ashok Aggarwal sought to be impleaded as a party in the matter and submitted that he was not against setting up of mohalla clinics, but school premises and parks should not be used for this purpose.

The court asked him to file an application in this regard after the government's counsel opposed his plea. It also noted that none of the three MCDs have filed their feasibility reports with regard to the land falling in their jurisdiction and directed them to file it.

The court also asked the Delhi government to convene a meeting with the authorities, including MCDs and the DDA, to address the feasibility of the proposed sites for mohalla clinics and listed the matter for 4 December.

The court had earlier asked the Centre, the AAP government and civic bodies to explore the possibility of setting up mohalla clinics in all parts of the city to provide adequate health facilities to the people.

The Delhi government's counsel had said the proposal for the neighbourhood health facility scheme was approved by the competent authority. He had submitted that the department identified several free sites in the city.

The health project had been delayed after complaints of irregularities were received by the LG, leading to a probe by the Vigilance Department. The lack of land for the project had also held it up.

The court was hearing NGO Justice for All's plea for a direction to the authorities to allot adequate number of plots for construction of these clinics with permission to raise the appropriate temporary structures to run them.

Advocate Khagesh B Jha, appearing for the NGO, claimed that the LG had now approved the scheme of mohalla clinics but due to multiplicity of agencies and difference of opinion among them, the scheme was working at a very slow pace.

The NGO submitted that "the poor residents of the city have no means to afford the costly treatment of private hospitals and are completely dependent on government hospitals and dispensaries which have limited strength and are unable to serve the population in normal days".

Seeking direction to the Centre, the DDA and MCDs to remove the technical difficulties for the construction of the temporary structures and running the clinics, the plea urged that the authorities be asked to depute doctors, staffs and provide proper facilities for their smooth functioning.

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Updated Date: Oct 30, 2017 20:23:32 IST