Bengal Doctors' Forum Approaches HC, Seeks Direction to Restrict Revellers' Entry During Festive Season

Sujit Nath
·2-min read

Concerned over the limited healthcare support as compared to surge in Covid-19 cases, the West Bengal Doctors Forum (WBDF) on Tuesday filed a petition in the Calcutta High Court, seeking a direction to restrict the entry of revellers in the state during festive season.

"Today, we have filed an application to the Calcutta High Court as a Party to the Writ Petition (WPA 8520 of 2020) regarding organising Durga Puja festival, 2020 amidst the ongoing pandemic. We being the voice of healthcare workers are worried about the outcome of non-compliance of the order passed by Justice Sanjib Banerjee. We, therefore, have filed a legal suit as a party to the application to point out that the medical facilities available with the state are already stretched to its limits and healthcare professionals at the point of absolute fatigue and distress," the WBDF said in a statement.

The doctors' forum said that several health care professionals have already been affected by the coronavirus in the state, therefore, any further increase in numbers due to mass gatherings during the festive season will collapse the entire health care delivery system. "It will drive the city and state and hapless citizens towards a possible genocide," it said.

"Our primary effort should be to save lives and to contain the virus. Under such a pandemic situation, I think science must prevail as festivities can wait. We are committed to save lives of our colleagues and our people, at all costs," WBDF Secretary, Dr Koushik Chaki, told News18.

The Calcutta High Court on October 19 directed the Durga puja organisers to barricade entrances of pandals. The court had said that an area with a radius of five-metres for small pandals and 10-metres for big pandals will be restricted for revellers.

Following the court’s directive, the Forum for Durgotsab, an umbrella body of all big Durga Puja pandals in West Bengal, has filed a review petition at the same division bench, claiming that it will be difficult to follow the order due to different geographical positions of the pandals and the locality where it is built.

"We felt that it will be difficult for us to follow the guidelines on setting up the barricades with five-metres for small pandals and 10 metres for big pandals conditions. The court has accepted our plea and tomorrow is scheduled hearing," Saswata Basu, General Secretary of Forum for Durgotsab, told News18.