Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Nov 17:
Conducting a hearing on a PIL over Japanese Encephalitis (JE) assuming epidemic proportions in Malkangiri district, the Orissa High Court today served notices to the Union government, state government and the district Collector.
A division bench of the High Court comprising of Chief Justice Vineet Saran and Justice Dr. B R Sarangi directed the respondents to reply to the notices within two weeks.
The PIL filed by Ashok Kumar Patnaik of Satiguda in Malkangiri district has cited deteriorating health service in the district, malnutrition among children and lack of proper implementation of various government schemes as the cause for the spread of the disease.
The petitioner said about 7,400 children had died in the district from 2007-2011 for various reasons. Then too it had come to notice that some of the deaths were due to JE. While it was ignored then, the situation is alarming now. Administrative negligence is responsible for the current situation.
The petitioner has stated that had appropriate measures been taken at the appropriate time such number of children would not have died due to the disease.
The petitioner has prayed the court seeking directions to the government for a high-level inquiry into the deaths along with measures for a permanent solution.
While seeking free treatment and medicines for the afflicted children, the petitioner has also sought appropriate compensation for the deceased and victims.