Video Editor: Ashutosh Bhardwaj
Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government, that had promised to transform the state into a ‘Ram Rajya’, has been pulled up by the Allahabad High Court over its mishandling of the COVID crisis. Ironically, the High Court in its ruling termed the state’s system to be Ram bharose (at God’s mercy).
On 17 May, the High Court Bench comprising Justice Siddhartha Varma and Justice Ajit Kumar were hearing a plea demanding better facilities for COVID patients in the state when they made the harsh remarks on the COVID mismanagement in UP.
They mentioned about a specific incident from Meerut, in which one Santosh Kumar died in an isolation ward of a hospital. His body was disposed of as unidentified because the hospital failed to locate his file.
“If this is the state of affairs of treatment at a medical college in a city like Meerut then the entire medical system of the state pertaining to the smaller cities and villages can only be taken to be like a famous Hindi saying, Ram Bharose.”Allahabad High Court
During the hearing, the court also mentioned about the absence of adequate health facilities in west UP’s Bijnor.
“In district Bijnor, the urban population, as per the 2011 census, is shown to be 9,25,312. We have no doubt in observing that it must have gone up by 25 percent by 2021, but to our utter surprise, there is no level-three hospital in Bijnor district. The three government hospitals have only 150 beds, whereas, the total of number of BiPAP machines is five and High Flow Nasal Cannula is only two.”Allahabad High Court
Breaking down the numbers of Community Health Centres (CHCs) in Bijnor, the court highlighted the poor ratio of availability of medical facilities per the total population of the district.
The court said, one health centre has the load of three lakh people and against three lakh people, it has only 30 beds. Meaning thereby, one CHC can cater to the need of healthcare to only 0.01 percent population, and only 17 oxygen concentrators are available with 250 oxygen cylinders, against 300 beds.
The High Court had directed the government to provide oxygen facility to all nursing home beds by the end of the month and arrange two ambulances per village.
The Uttar Pradesh government appealed against the High Court order in the Supreme Court. On 21 May, the Supreme Court stayed the order passed by the Allahabad High Court.
“Such directions cannot be implemented and it shall be treated as advice and not directions. The state government, which will work to provide facilities to the people will keep in mind the advice of the High Court.”Supreme Court
BJP government elected in 2017 boasted about making UP a ‘Ram Rajya’ by 2019, but the state is now witnessing an overwhelming number of deaths due to lack of medical facilities. So much so that bodies are seen floating in rivers and riverbanks have become mass graves. Several BJP MLAs and ministers have also flagged about the lapses in state’s COVID handling.
Even after such a disaster, if the UP government can’t face the reality and accept its mistakes then we counter every lie with Janab Aise Kaise?