Hearing public interest litigations (PIL) on lack of health infrastructure in tribal-dominated Amravati and Nandurbar districts, the Bombay High Court has instructed the principal secretary (Tribal Welfare) to conduct a field inspection of the affected districts.
Justice M S Karnik was hearing a bunch of pleas, including those filed by activists Dr Rajendra Burma and Bandu Sampatrao Sane, on lack of health infrastructure in Nandurbar and Amravati.
“Having regard to the magnitude of the problem faced by tribals, we request the principal secretary (Tribal Welfare) to visit the affected tribal areas to enable him get first hand information about the difficulties faced by the tribals at the ground level,” the court said on October 20.
The bureaucrat has been advised to inform advocates and petitioners of the visit, so that they can accompany him and pinpoint the areas of concern.
The court also informed that Dr Chhering Dorje, Special Inspector General of Nagpur Police, who was appointed by the court, has already submitted an action plan that the state is implementing.
It expressed satisfaction that the principal secretary is a qualified doctor “who would be best suited to appreciate the concerns pertaining to the medical condition of women and children in the tribal areas and suggest the road forward to deal with the problems”.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Sane said, “Recently, Dr Pradeep Vyas, who was earlier in charge of the state public health department, has been transferred to the tribal welfare department. He is aware of the horrible health and living conditions of the tribal regions in these districts. We are hopeful that he will do good.”
To urgently handle problems faced by the women and children in Nandurbar and Amravati, the court ordered the respective collectors and district health officers to hold regular meetings in the first week of every month. “Place report on record about the measures and steps taken to tackle the problem,” it said.