The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Court seeks sting count

Calcutta High Court on Friday asked the civic authorities to furnish a list of the number of people affected by malaria last year and this year, and the fatality count.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice A.N. Roy and Justice A.K. Mitra directed the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) to submit an affidavit, detailing steps it had taken to check malaria in the city. The court also sought to know the status of the proposed malaria hospital in Kalighat.

The directives followed a public interest litigation (PIL) by advocate Pradip Roy, who claimed the CMC had failed to control malaria and that the disease had claimed 16 lives in the city in July alone.

Roy said: 'The civic body had received grants from the Union government, as well as from foreign countries, to combat malaria, but nothing constructive has been done.'

The lawyer had filed a similar petition two months ago. It was moved by Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya.

But the court had refused to hear the matter on the grounds that the petitioner was not an 'affected party'.

'This is serious matter and the lives of Calcuttans are in danger. So, I request you to take up the matter for hearing,' Roy submitted on Friday while moving his second petition.

He reminded the court that mayor Subrata Mukherjee had announced three years ago that the CMC would build a hospital in Kalighat for treating malaria patients. 'The mayor has not kept his promise.'

When contacted, CMC counsel Alok Ghosh said: 'Our affidavit is almost ready. Malaria is completely under control in the city and not a single person has succumbed to the disease this year.'

The matter will come up for hearing after two weeks.

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