HC asks BMC to respond to PIL over hand sanitisers, masks

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Mumbai, May 19 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Mumbai civic body to file its reply to a PIL seeking distribution of free face masks to the needy and installation of hand sanitiser dispensing machines at public places in the city in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Public Interest Litigation (PIL), filed by a local NGO through advocate Shehzad Naqvi, sought that sanitiser dispensing machines be installed at all public places like railway stations, trains, buses and slums by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Maharashtra government.

The counsels for BMC and BEST (civic power and transport undertaking), however, told the HC that buses, roads and pavements across the city were already being sanitised on a daily basis.

A vacation bench, comprising Justices SJ Kathawalla and SP Tavade, remarked that if the BMC installed sanitiser dispensing machines, it would require to deploy staff to guard them.

'Who will guard these sanitiser dispensing machines? What if someone takes it away from the footpath where it is installed? Also, who will bear the cost of installing the machines?' the HC said.

The bench, however, directed the BMC, which is spearheading the response against coronavirus in Mumbai, to file its reply to the PIL within the next three weeks. PTI AYA RSY RSY

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