Bangladesh's higher court on Wednesday heavily slammed the city authorities for their failure to control mosquito menace in the capital city Dhaka.
“Dengue fever has turned into a terrible situation as 21 to 22 people including children have reportedly died and hundreds of people have been affected with dengue fever. There is nothing left for the dengue fever to become an epidemic," the Daily Star quoted the High Court bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader as saying.
Coming down heavily on the two Dhaka city corporations (south and north), the court criticized the authorities for their failure to take effective steps in preventing mosquito menace despite court's order for effective initiative in this regard.
During hearing a writ petition, the HC bench said the mayor of a DCC has reportedly said about the mosquito that nothing serious has taken place.
“How can a mayor make such an observation even after so many people died and have been affected with mosquito menace and dengue fever,” the court asked.
It observed that a budget is allocated and people’s tax money is spent every year to preventing the mosquito menace, but there is no result.
Earlier, medicine had been sprayed from plane to control the mosquito, but it is not found now, the HC said.
Advocate Nurunnahar Akter, the lawyer for the DCCs, told the court that she felt bad at the reports on the death of people due to Dengue fever.
In response, the court commended that the corrupt people don’t feel bad at such incidents as their children live foreign counties and they are not affected by Dengue fever.
With making the observations, the HC directed the Dhaka North and South City Corporations to take appropriate action against the people involved in corruption and purchasing and importing infective medicines for preventing mosquito menace in the capital after conducting an enquiry against them.
It also ordered the DNCC and DSCC to import effective medicine with assistance from the government on an emergency basis and to take necessary measures to prevent the mosquito menace.
The HC also directed the DNCC and DSCC to submit separate reports to this court after complying with the directives by August 20 and also fixed August 20 for passing further order on this issue.
During the hearing, petitioner’s counsel Advocate Manzill Murshid told the court that people are dying due to the mosquito menace and dengue fever but the steps taken by the DCCs are ineffective.
The medicines used to prevent the mosquito menace are also ineffective, he said, adding that Tk 20 to 22 core is allocated for this purpose but corruption takes place in spending the money.
Advocate Manzill said the DCCs have not taken any appropriate action against the people who are involved in the corruption.
DCCs’ lawyer Nurunnahar Akter told the court that her clients have taken necessary measures including creating awareness among the city dwellers to prevent mosquito menace to recover from dengue fever.
She said the DCCs have floated tenders for importing effective medicines and to prevent mosquito menace in the capital and they need at least six months’ time to complete the process.
During hearing the writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh, a rights organization, the HC bench on July 2 this year directed the two DCCs to take effective steps to prevent the mosquito menace in the capital, and thus control the alarming spread of dengue fever.
The HC also asked the city authorities to submit separate compliance reports to the court on Wednesday.