The High Court yesterday expressed dissatisfaction over the activities of two city corporations of Dhaka for controlling mosquito menace.
If the responsible people of the city corporations had taken proper preventive measures, the situation would not have worsened. People supervising the activities did not discharge their duties properly, the court said.
The HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader said this while hearing a suo moto rule of last month after the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) placed a compliance report yesterday as per its earlier order.
The court said according to the government report, 48 people died of dengue fever while the media stated that the death toll was 72. Why two sets of information regarding the death toll?
In reply, Deputy Attorney General Abdullah Al Mahmud Bashar told the court that officially 48 people died of dengue fever. It needs to be investigated how the others died.
Think about the situation of victims’ families. Dengue has spread all over the country. If the preventative measures had been taken at appropriate time, so many people would not have died, the court said.
The court said they warned the authorities in February and asked secretaries of two city corporations to take necessary action.
The HC bench said chemicals had been sprayed without any proper test year after year. But those did not work.
The officials and employees concerned were not discharging their duties properly and were shifting the responsibility onto people by asking them to clean their houses.
Bashar submitted the DGHS report before the court, saying that the government was very sincere in preventing the mosquito menace.
The holidays of doctors and officials at the government hospitals has been cancelled. Import of anti-mosquito chemicals from abroad has been made tariff free, he added.
Ten surveillance teams have been formed and mobile courts have raided 14 hospitals to ensure proper treatment of dengue patients.
The court said it would not pass any order on the DGHS report at this moment.
Meanwhile, the HC bench asked journalists to prepare reports on the court proceedings cautiously.
In response to media report about its comment over the government officials, the court said it had earlier observed that the government officials are servants of the state. But the observation was misinterpreted by the media, the HC bench said.
Media is free, but it should write news ethically. It should not write anything which can send the wrong message to the people and demean the court.