Ensure civic bodies conform to state govt”s policies on handling pandemic: Guj HC

Ensure civic bodies conform to state govt”s policies on handling pandemic: Guj HC

Ahmedabad, May 4 (PTI) Taking exception to a few decisions of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to ensure that civic bodies act in accordance with its policies for containing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The direction came after the AMC informed that it has withdrawn the rule that only those patients who are brought by ”108” ambulances be admitted to municipal hospitals or in the AMC”s quota in private hospitals for COVID-19 patients.
“The state has to take care that none of the (municipal) corporations do their `manmani” (behave arbitrarily). Corporations have to act in accordance with the policy of the state and in conformation with the state, and they cannot act on their own,” the court said, hearing a PIL, taken up suo motu (on its own), about the government”s handling of the pandemic.
The court had last week directed that hospitals must attend to patients irrespective of whether they arrive in private vehicles or ”108” ambulances. The AMC on Tuesday said its order has been withdrawn, but also maintained that the policy was neither “mischievous” nor “overriding the state.”
Advocate General Kamal Trivedi told the court that this `only 108 ambulances” policy was sound till April 15, but not thereafter when the number of cases started rising fast.
The court asked if he accepted that the state has been failing to supervise the situation and the AMC was behaving like an “undisciplined child.”
AMC”s lawyer Mihir Joshi said the civic body was working “in tandem ” with the state government and it “still believes that a more efficient system is the centralised one” while it abides by the court”s orders.
“It is not with a view to go against the state, it was felt necessary in the interest of the common man, and for an efficient administration process,” he said.
In its earlier order, the court had said the ”108” ambulance facility is a state government scheme, and the corporation is bound to follow whatever guidelines or policy the state government formulates about its use.
The court also refused to accept the AMC”s request to allow Ahmedabad residents to return to the city from other states without an RT-PCR test so far as the person is “leaving and returning within 72 hours.”
The court said it was not inclined to make an exception for the city residents.
The HC had in a past order said the AMC”s press note exempting residents of the city from obtaining RT-PCR negative report before returning from other states was contrary to the state”s notification that required anybody entering Gujarat to carry such a report.
The court also highlighted inconsistency in the government”s data on the number of RT-PCR test machines available in various districts and the claims made in subsequent affidavits.
AG Trivedi said 72 RT-PCR machines are operating in the state at present. When the court said it failed to understand how, despite an increase in the number of RT-PCR machines, the number of test results went down from 1,89,902 to 1,37,714 between Apr 23 to May 2, the AG said the test figures are “dynamic,” and nobody who seeks a test has been turned away.
“People are being encouraged to take the test. If the number has gone down, it is because the test figure is dynamic,” he said.
Government Pleader Manisha Lavkumar Shah, however, conceded that there were “some discrepancies with regard to the number (of tests).” The court directed the state government to submit the exact number.

The Advocate General also informed that 32 PSA plants would be set up at government hospitals for the supply of medical oxygen. The delivery time for the import of raw material for these plants from Germany and France was two-three months, he said.
The court also directed the government to give information about the availability of COVID-19 vaccine doses, and set up a mechanism for real-time allocation of beds for COVID-19 patients across all hospitals in municipal areas.
It also sought a chart on the distribution of remdesivir injections in the state over the last 15 days, adjourning the hearing till May 11. PTI KA PD KRK

Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Bollyinsidestaff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI

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