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HC notice to state on cancer in Malwa

Chandigarh, January 13
Refusing to close its eyes to the ailing cancer cure facilities in Punjab’s Malwa belt, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has taken suo motu cognisance of a review carried in “Sunday Extra” of The Tribune. Underscoring the sorry state of affairs, Justice Ranjit Singh has quoted the contents of the column to say: “In a state where Rs 5 crore is spent on the medical treatment of a ruling family, as reported in the news item, there is a dire need for the government to wake up and do something for the needy public in the area”.s

The suo motu notice case was placed before the Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Augustine George Masih this morning.

Justice Ranjit Singh added: Sad it will be to notice that government has not done anything to make a provision for affordable medical facilities, forcing people from the region to travel to Bikaner in a train named as cancer express.

Going into the background of the matter, Justice Ranjit Singh asserted: Reading a news item regarding cancer picture in Malwa region of Punjab is cause of serious concern. The author writing the column, Punjabi Antenna, in the Sunday Extra of The Tribune dated October 23, 2010, has made reference to a well documented report presented by Day and Night TV channel under caption Cancer da kehar.

As per the report, affected families of the Malwa region have been made to sell land and belongings to save their children from cancer. It is distressing to notice that some people have abandoned their afflicted relations and have pushed sick women out of their in-laws’ home for becoming a financial burden.

Justice Ranjit Singh added: “Some private hospitals, which are coming up, would be no substitute or solace to the poor people suffering from this wrath of nature”.

The assertion assumes significance as Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had only recently claimed that the malady would largely be taken care of with the coming up of private hospitals.

In the two-page note, Justice Ranjit Singh concluded: As per the reports, ailment has acquired epidemic proportions and about 10,000 cancer-related deaths have been reported….

“Taking suo motu notice of the details reported in the news item, I deem it appropriate to put the state government to notice to explain as to what is being done to attend to the needs of the cancer-related patients in the Malwa region and what action is in hand to remedy the situation as alarming as appearing.”

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