The plan to start taking early measures against spread of vector-borne diseases in the city, this year, seems to have hit a roadblock.
With questions being raised over the Municipal Corporation of Delhi's (MCD) procurement procedure, the civic agency has not yet been able to purchase granules, chemicals and bio-larvicides that are sprayed to kill and prevent breeding of dengue and malaria-causing mosquitoes.
Normally, the civic agency starts spraying chemicals around end of May to control mosquito breeding, but the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD's) health department had decided to start the procedure by April this year, as a precautionary measure.
A number of councillors - mostly from the ruling BJP - objected to the proposal placed by the health department before the MCD standing committee on Tuesday.
The civic agency's plan to use the government of undertaking Hindustan Latex Limited (HLL) as a consultant for procurement of material at two per cent consultancy charge was unacceptable to them.
They argued that the civic agency should buy the material directly to avoid paying the high consultancy fees.
The proposals were related to purchase of 1,40,000 kgs of Temephos granules worth Rs 50.08 lakh to prevent breeding in clean stagnant water in coolers and uncovered overhead tanks, 40 tonnes of malathion technical worth R57.64 lakh used for fogging operation to kill adult mosquitoes, 5,400 litres of pyrethrum extract worth R76.43 lakh for spraying to kill adult mosquitoes by mixing it with kerosene oil and 2,75,000 litres of bio-larvicides worth R27.22 lakh.
The HLL was to fix the rate of procurement and the supplier agency for one year and get two per cent as consultancy charge.
"The company is a certified government procurement agency, and is used to procure material not only by the health department but other departments as well," said NK Yadav, municipal health officer.
"It helps in organising the purchases in a better manner. We have also brought down the consultancy charges from 3.5% to 2%," Yadav added.
The health department is hopeful that the proposal will be passed in the next meeting of the panel.
Outbreak of vector-borne diseases such as dengue and malaria is a huge problem in Delhi, especially during monsoons. More than 6,000 dengue cases were reported in the city last year, with eight deaths.