High Court Instructs Uttarakhand Government to Consider Renaming Disease Named After Ranikhet

The Uttarakhand High Court has issued a directive to the state government regarding the renaming of a disease associated with the name of Ranikhet, a popular tourist destination in Uttarakhand. This move came after a public interest litigation was filed by Ranikhet resident Satish Joshi, which pointed out that the picturesque hill station’s reputation is marred by its association with a viral disease known as “Ranikhet disease,” which affects birds and poultry.

During the hearing on May 7, presided over by Chief Justice Ritu Bahri and Justice Rakesh Thapliyal, the court considered the impact of the disease’s name on the tourism of Ranikhet, known for its scenic beauty and historical significance. The petitioner argued that just as other renowned hill stations like Mussoorie and Nainital are celebrated, Ranikhet should not be overshadowed by a negative association with a disease.

The state government, in its response, acknowledged its limited role in the matter but suggested that the central government could take necessary steps to change the name. The high court has now given the state government until June 27 to submit an affidavit proposing alternative names for the disease.

This decision is awaited with interest to see what steps the Uttarakhand government will take following the high court’s instruction to dissociate the name of Ranikhet from the disease, thereby possibly restoring the hill station’s untarnished image.

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