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Dengue fever: Arguments in court

HC asks DCCs to import effective insecticides

photo by NN Photo

Lakes, canals and other waterbodies in Dhaka have become a vast breeding grounds for mosquitoes due to lack of proper cleansing efforts. This photo was taken from Hatirjheel Lake on Thursday.

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Staff Reporter :
The High Court on Thursday directed the two city corporations to import insecticides to kill Aedes mosquitoes, with an order for the government to support the corporations.   
Earlier, a tussle brewed between the Local Government Division of the Ministry of LGRD and the city corporations over who will import the insecticide to kill mosquitoes amid a colossal outbreak of dengue across the country, including capital Dhaka.  
The HC bench of Justice Tariq ul Hakim and Justice Md Shohrowardi passed the order following a day long hearing on a Suo Moto rule issued by the court earlier.
The court said the Ministry of Health, the Directorate4 General of Health Services and the Local government Division will have to provide all assistance to the city corporations, including issuanc3e of 'licences' and 'clearance'.  
It also asked the Health Secretary for appointing a doctor, not below the rank of Associate Professor, in all the government hospitals of Dhaka city for the supervision over dengue treatment for 24 hours.
The court also said, "All hospitals will have to provide extra beds for dengue patients. In addition, the government will have to ensure that the dengue test kit is provided at a low cost. All the private hospitals may consider the order on the humanitarian aspects."
Earlier in the morning, lawyers of the two city corporations  and the state have contradicted each other over who will bring effective medicine for eliminating mosquitoes.
The city corporations informed the court that the state is responsible for the imports of insecticide and they are supposed to spray it  
In the hearing, lawyer of the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Barrister Sayeed Ahmed Raja said, Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Ministry will bring the insecticides and the city corporation will only spray them.  Echoing the DSCC lawyer, Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC)'s lawyer Barrister Taufiq Inam Tipu also said that city Corporation's duty is to spray the medicine. But opposing the two city corporations' lawyers Deputy Attorney General Kazi Mainul Hasan said, it was the duty of the city corporations to buy medicine for Dengue mosquitoes.
The HC said, "We ordered 16 days before. But the government could not take any effective initiative by this time. Both, the city corporations and the ministry are government institutions. So, why do not you have in-coordination?"  
At this stage, the court summoned Secretary of the Local Government Division of the LGRD Helal Uddin Ahmed to appear in the court at 2.00 pm yesterday for explaining over the contradictory speeches of the lawyers of the both sides.
Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed appeared in the court and said, "Particular medicine is produced by the private institutions in the concerned country. The city corporations have to import the medicine with their own initiative. The government will give them all support."
Then the DNCC's lawyer Barrister Taufiq Inam Tipu said, "DNCC's process is under way to import new medicine from China. We need minimum 14 working days to complete the process." DSCC lawyer Barrister Sayeed Ahmed Raja said, "We can follow the process of DNCC to import new medicine."
On Tuesday the High Court wanted to know from the two city corporations of Dhaka when effective medicine for eliminating mosquitoes would arrive in the country.
The court directed the authorities of the two city corporations to inform this court in this regard by Thursday.
The HC bench of Justice Tariq ul Hakim and Justice Md Shohrowardi passed the order during hearing of a Suo Moto rule.
The court also expressed dissatisfaction over ineffectiveness of medicine for mosquito control amid the outbreak of dengue fever in Dhaka and across the country.
Complying with the court order passed on Tuesday, the two city corporations submitted their written statement yesterday.
Mentionable that on July 28, the Foreign Ministry, LGED, city corporations and the PMO officials held a meeting where it was decided that the two city corporations will import the insecticide and the government will provide all assistance, including the fund.    

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