Set up a unified command centre for Tricity, suggests HC

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday pointed out that the three States of Punjab, Haryana, and Chandigarh, may consider setting up of unified command centre for the Tricity.

The division bench of Justice Rajan Gupta, and Justice Karamjit Singh, which was hearing the petition related to Covid-19 surge, said that the working and business class have their work place or residence in either of the three cities of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali, and the three are integrated as a tricity.

“In case a joint strategy is drawn up, it may be easier to tackle the present crisis. In a situation like one created by Covid-19 pandemic, paramount consideration with the Governments should be of helping every human being irrespective of the State to which he belongs. For better administration and to implement policies, parochial or other considerations should not stand in the way. In case, there is a common platform to deliberate upon the strategies to be adopted, it would be easier to tackle the challenges posed by the Pandemic”, said the division bench.

After Amicus Curiae, Rupinder Khosla apprised the court that the supply of drugs through the private chemists to whom franchise had been given, has been withdrawn, Chandigarh Senior Standing Counsel Pankaj Jain submitted that “the control and supply of these drugs such as Remdesivir and Tocilizumab etc. has been taken over by the Director, Health Service, Chandigarh, and hoarding etc. has been considerably curbed.”

When the Court asked the Counsel whether these drugs can also be provided through a government-controlled drug centre, preferably in GMSH-16, which is centrally located, on payment basis against prescription, the UT Counsel submitted that this issue shall be examined today itself.

On the contention of Senior Advocate Anupam Gupta, that while Chandigarh Administration took steps to publicise the number of beds available in government/private hospitals, it has not given the breakup of oxygen beds, ICU beds and ICU beds with ventilators. Besides, availability of beds in Mini Covid Centres is also required to be included in the tabulated form and publicised on daily basis. The UT Counsel assured the Court that the needful shall be done today itself.

HC appreciates work by charitable oranisations

The Division Bench said, “This court would be failing in its duty if the work done by philanthropic organizations is not appreciated, they have taken up the daunting task of serving and taking care of pandemic affected patients by risking their own lives. At the same time, there are others who have acted as predators looking for an opportunity to fleece people even in this crisis. This court gives the liberty to the States to act sternly against such culprits and take strict action.”

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