The dengue crisis in Bhopal has taken a political turn with opposition Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders accusing the MP government of having failed miserably in checking the spread of the disease.
Dengue has claimed 11 lives and infected over 550 people this year — the highest number of such cases and casualties in Bhopal till date.
Alleging failure on the part of the state government to control dengue, the Congress has decided to start a door-to-door awareness campaign from Wednesday.
"We have made teams of Youth Congress who will go to different areas. On Wednesday, we are starting our campaign from Kotra Sultanabad," said district Congress vice president Monu Saxena.
"All the government agencies involved in public health and sanitation have failed in checking the spread of dengue. Had they paid attention on time, it wouldn't have become unmanageable," he said.
Last week, Youth Congress activists had staged a demonstration at the BMC headquarters against the failure of government to check dengue. They even handed over a certificate to the mayor for 'letting the mosquitoes spread dengue' in the state capital. The certificate mentioned that 'machchhar mahasangh' (mosquito union) was giving mayor Krishna Gaur, the certificate, because the civic body was allowing them (mosquitoes) to breed freely in Bhopal, bite citizens and spread dengue.
AAP state secretary Akshay Hunka said dengue had become a major crisis because of carelessness of the authorities. The disease could have been controlled in the initial stages but lack of coordination between health department, Bhopal Municipal Corporation and other agencies concerned resulted in its spread.
"We met mayor Krishna Gaur and suggested that a joint committee comprising officials from health department, BMC and other departments should be formed for effective fight against dengue. Departments concerned seem to be passing the buck to each other while people continue to suffer," he said.
'78 teams involved in campaign against dengue'
Chief medical and health officer (CMHO) Dr Pankaj Shukla said Bhopal has a population of over 23 lakh while the health department has limited manpower.
"Despite our limitations, we have deployed employees from different wings of health department in the campaign against dengue. Seventy-eight teams are working in various areas, checking containers for larvae, making people aware about dengue. However, the health department cannot do everything on its own. All agencies involved have to work together and shoulder responsibility," he said.