Mumbai: The Bombay High Court bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni on Wednesday asked the Maharashtra government and its authorities to now focus on rural areas of the state as the numbers of Covid cases in such remote areas are suddenly increasing.
The judge while hearing a clutch of petitions on Covid crisis also ordered the Maharashtra government to submit details of Covid cases in rural villages and how the civic authorities there are providing medical facilities to citizens.
"We have seen what is happening in metro cities like Pune, Mumbai. Now we want you to shift your focus to rural villages," the judges said while referring to a news report by India Today news channel over the facilities being provided at Covid care centers in Palghar district.
"The news item showed how citizens were lying on the floors for treatment. They weren't given proper facilities at all. We can say that this news report was an eye-opener," Justice Kulkarni remarked.
"Thus, we want the focus to now be shifted to rural villages. What are the facilities being made available there?" the bench added.
The judges accordingly ordered Maharashtra government to immediately issue advisories asking all its collectors and concerned authorities to focus on rural areas now.
"Palghar is just near Mumbai. If this is a situation there then imagine what would be the plight of citizens in other remote areas, in tribal areas. This news report was actually an eye opener for us," Justice Kulkarni observed.
Further CJ Datta added, "We have to stop infection at threshold so that it does not spread in rural areas. We do not have those facilities in rural areas like cities. In first wave villages were not as much affected. But now you have to focus on villages."
During the hearing, the bench cited another news item that highlighted the success story of a village in Gujarat, which hasn't recorded a single case since last three months. "All that we need to do is study that Gujarat model. That could be replicated here too," Justice Kulkarni added, while adjourning the hearing till next Wednesday.