The Orissa High Court, expressing shock over the reappearance of shanties in the recently evicted slum near SCB Medical College and Hospital here, has directed the district administration to book those who have reoccupied the vacant area.

Adjudicating over the PIL pertaining to problems afflicting the city, a Division Bench of Justice B P Das and Justice M M Das on Thursday asked the authorities to prevent fresh encroachments by slum dwellers. The Bench was so furious over the report that the Maa Mangala slum area is again being occupied by slum dwellers that it ordered the police to arrest the illegal occupants.

“Responsibilities would be fixed on officials concerned who cannot prevent re-encroachment”, the HC ordered.

It may be mentioned here that following the direction of the High Court, the district administration had vacated the slum evicting the dwellers in August last year. Also at the intervention of the Court, the evicted slum dwellers were however, relocated at a separate place by the administration for a few days.

The Bench was also critical of an affidavit submitted by the State Health Secretary over the functioning of SCB medical college and hospital. Refusing to accept the affidavit, the court directed the Health Department to furnish a fresh affidavit detailing the duty chart of doctors in the hospital and asked why the telephone numbers of the doctors were not available online for the benefit of public.

The bench also directed that the High Court committee on Hospital along with the amicus curie shall visit the hospital once again and submit a detailed report by January 8 so as to take up the matter for further hearing on January 13.

The High Court too expressed its concern over the poor state of affairs in public transport facility of the city and wanted to know why the recently introduced city bus services in Bhubaneswar could not be extended to Cuttack city.

When the Bench was informed that the bus services in Bhubaneswar were under the JNNURM scheme and Cuttack was not included in the said national scheme, the bench asked the government to find out alternatives to improve the public transport facility in Cuttack.