National Green Tribunal has said that various old buses lying abandonedat Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) depots in Delhi were breedinggrounds for mosquitoes and also led to a rise in dengue andchikungunya. The NGT also directed the DTC to form a task force to tackle the problem.
A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the DTC to set up the special team and take "appropriate steps" within a week. "We direct the general manager of the DTC to take immediate steps to cover the buses and fumigate them and also ensure that the water which is inside or under the buses is removed forthwith," it said.
The tribunal said buses which were unfit for plying andlying at DTC depots in Indraprastha, Rohini, Keshopur andelsewhere were a breeding ground for mosquitoes. During the rains, water fills up in the buses which leads to mosquito breeding, the bench said on May 29. The NGT had earlier said vector-borne diseases such as dengue and chikungunya had started spreading in the city and the steps taken by the authorities to contain the menace were a "mere formality".
The bench had then appointed 12 local commissioners toinspect different spots in the city under each municipalcorporation and report to it about the problems on the ground. The tribunal had also hit out at the Delhi government,civic bodies and other public authorities for making "unbelievable" claims and "vague statements" regarding stepstaken to tackle dengue, chikungunya and other diseases.
It had said the right to a clean and decent environmentand public health was a fundamental right and financiallimitations should not come in the way of providing good health and environment to the people. The bench was hearing a petition by a former scientist of the Central Pollution Control Board, Mahendra Pandey, for issuance of directions and setting up of committees to implement "precautionary, preventive and curative actions" toensure that the residents of Delhi were not exposed to disease.
The plea had also sought direction to authorities not toundertake outdoor thermal fogging to control dengue, allegingit was anti-environment and caused air pollution.