The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre and to Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, asking them to take effective steps to prevent the spread of epidemics in flood-hit and other areas in the two States.

In their public interest writ petition, Swami Achyutanand Tirth and three others said hundreds of decaying bodies lay buried under debris or were lying in the open in the hilly, flood-hit areas of Uttarakhand. Moreover, there was a likelihood of contamination of the Ganga, a major source of drinking water in both States, the petitioners said, adding disaster management by the Uttarakhand government was poor.

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