Taking tough stand against landlords who have been forcing doctors and paramedical staff, engaged in fighting coronavirus, to vacate their rented premises, the Delhi Government on Wednesday gave power to zonal Deputy Commissioners to take "strict penal action".
Invoking the Delhi Epidemics Diseases, Covid-19 Regulations, a Government notification said the district magistrates, zonal deputy commissioners of municipal corporations and the deputy commissioner of police are "directed to take strict penal action against such landlords and house owners under the relevant provisions of law".
“Such behaviour "not only strikes at the root of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic but also tantamount to obstruction of duty of essential services" according to the notification.
The decision was taken after the resident doctors of India's premier hospital AIIMS on Tuesday sought the government's intervention saying their colleagues were facing eviction from their homes by their landlords, who fear the medical professionals at the forefront of the fight against the novel coronavirus could be infected.
Meanwhile, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Wednesday directed officials to ensure proper transport arrangements for the healthcare providers from their residence to hospitals to allow them hassle free commute to their workplace and expressed concern over the reports of misbehaviour with them by their landlords amid the pandemic coronavirus.
The concerned officials have also been asked to submit their Action Taken Report on a daily basis.
Baijal directed all the District Magistrates, Zonal Deputy Commissioners of Municipal Corporations, and District Deputy Commissioners of Police to take strict penal action against house-owners under the relevant provisions of law and submit a daily action taken report to the office of Additional Chief Secretary (Home, Delhi Government).
In a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah, the Resident Doctors Association said many staffers were "stranded on roads" with all their luggage, and urged him to immediately release an order prohibiting landlords from evicting the health care professionals working tirelessly against the virus from their rented houses.
Shah has spoken to the Delhi police chief and asked him to take immediate action to ensure the security of doctors facing harassment. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had also said he was "deeply anguished" by the reports of medical staff being "ostracised". He reminded the landlords that the whole country had applauded the selfless services of healthcare professionals in these critical times by beating utensils, ringing bells and blowing conch shells from self-quarantine.