A local Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court, requesting that the BMC and the state have sanitiser dispensing machines in public places such as train stations, bus stops, and slums from the funds raised for breaking lockdown rules.
Other cities' sanitation efforts are also included in the petition. Bengaluru, Chennai, Guwahati, Coimbatore, and Raipur have begun using drones to spray disinfectants on polluted surfaces, while Madurai, Tirupur, and Kochi have developed hand-washing facilities, according to a Public Interest Litigation filed by the Citizen Circle for Social Welfare and Education. "In particular, the Respondent No.2 – Corporation is correct in placing a fine on those caught not wearing a mask, but it should also partake in mask distribution and use the funds raised to build hand sanitising devices in all large public areas, as this is a critical factor in preventing and mitigating the spread of the virus, " the plea states.
Since more than half of the city's population resides in slums, many have been left roofless, pleading for food on account of the lockdown, the plea filed through advocate Shehzad Naqvi states, adding that such people need to be provided proper sanitary facilities and free masks. The PIL notes that it is not making any claims against the civil body, but that it is important to ensure that public roads and other public places in Mumbai are sanitised regularly, either by the use of Mobile Sanitizing Vans, drones, or other means. The BEST Buses and other public transportation buses are not disinfected until they finish their journeys, which aids in the transmission of the virus because if the surface is affected, the chances of the virus spreading double, and that the Petitioner has observed that in Five Star Hotels, once a vehicle enters, it is disinfected using Sanitizing Machines. "The right to life, as enshrined in ‘Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, also means and includes the right to a healthy and wholesome environment, and it is the responsibility of the Respondent – Railways and Respondent – Corporation to ensure that public places have sanitary dispensing machines, as well as that trains and buses are disinfected by regularly spraying disinfectants and the downtrodden of the society are distributed face masks to prevent the spread of Covid 19 pandemic," the petition further reads.