New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday criticized Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government over its “lethargic approach” in constructing a 100-bed hospital in the city’s Najafgarh area despite the Centre’s nudge.
“Do something so that the construction is over. You can say no also but don’t sit tight. You decide as per law,” the High Court bench said during the hearing.
“It is the misfortune of the public at large that a 100-bedded hospital could not be completed because of the lethargic approach on part of the Delhi government,” PTI quoted the bench as saying.
Hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) by a lawyer, Rajesh Kaushik, seeking a direction to the two governments to finish the construction of the hospital at the Rural Health Training Centre in Najafgarh, the bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti stated that the Union of India has been writing “letter after letter” and yet “no reply” is being given on part of the Delhi government.
“No counter has been filed (by Delhi government),” the bench said.
Appearing for the Centre, advocate Anurag Ahluwalia said that the project was 80% complete and is waiting for the Delhi government’s forest department’s go-ahead since December 2018 as the site needs a sanction for the “transplantation of trees.”
Noting that the structure of the building is complete and it was “utmost essential” for the general public that the hospital becomes operational prior to the arrival of the possible Covid-19 third wave, the petition also stated that the Najafgarh area lacks good hospitals and the setting-up of the 100-bed hospital would “cater to the needs of 15 lakh people” living in 73 villages.
The bench rendered time for the Delhi government to file response to the plea and mention the “least possible time” within which the sanction for the tree transplantation will be granted.
The matter will be next heard on November 8.