Srinagar, May 13: High Court today directed the Government to have a meeting within one week and formalize an action plan on the post-lockdown situation.
Hearing a PIL on the rise of COVID-19 and the facilities of health care to deal with the pandemic, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajnesh Oswal said the court is deeply concerned about the manner in which the public could be required to conduct itself after reduction of the restrictions post-lockdown. It directed the Government to have a meeting within one week from today on the issue and prepare an action plan on the post-lockdown situation.
This direction has been passed upon Secretaries of Health and Medical Education, Social Welfare Department, State Legal Services Authority (SLSA) and Director Information. Court directed these officials to place the action plan before it positively before the next date of hearing fixed in the matter.
It is mentioned here that the time line of third phase of lockdown is going to end on May 17. Court has turned down the status reports filed by Member Secretary SLSA, Financial Commissioner and H&ME department on the preparations of post-lockdown.
Court after perusal of these reports said they still don’t deal with the issue on which authorities were required to apply their mind as they only details out the steps already taken. “It appears that the issue of what would be the desirable public response post removal of the lockdown has not been examined”, court said.
Court added that Institutions and establishments including commercial and industrial need to know as to what manner they would be permitted to work after the reduction and removal of the lockdown restrictions and it appears that the authorities have not even begun to apply their minds to these issues.
With these observation, Court said the report purporting to be on the issue of ‘Removal of lockdown-desirable public response-provisions of information’ is rejected. Court directed the Director Information to place before it the strategy with regard to propagation and spreading of the information on this issue as no report till date has been submitted by her.
Dealing with the issue of Safety, Care, Health and violence against Health professionals and clinical establishments court has been informed by the Union Counsel that he has received a letter from Ministry of Home Affairs for legislative frame work but the same could not be placed on record as such sought some time which the court granted for the same.
With regard to welfare of migrant and contract labourers as also visitors, Court has been informed by the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir about 35, 504 migrant labourers in Kashmir and all these have been provided shelter in camps and are being provided all facilities of food, drinking water, accommodation etc.
“In addition, help-lines have been notified for the assistance of inter-state migrant labourers stranded in different parts of the J&K UT and all calls being addressed immediately”, read the report of Divisional Commissioner.
Court after this report said the Government is sensitive to the welfare and needs of stranded migrant and contract labourers and directed for continuing to render all assistance to these persons and taking all necessary steps as may be required.
For assisting the farmers, a status report has been filed by the Agriculture Production Department giving all details of steps taken by the department for providing assistance to the farmers. Court has been informed that the department has even gone to the extent of creating Whatsapp groups with Sub Division Office to facilitate farmers in order to mitigate difficulties being faced by them during these crises. Court closed this issue for further consideration by observing that all necessary steps stand taken and no further orders are required.