The BJP-controlled North Delhi Municipal Corporation alleged on Sunday that Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal did not allow its dengue-control teams led by the mayor to enter his official residence in the Civil Lines area.
Senior officials of the corporation said chief minister’s house could not be checked for dengue larvae breeding and notices were issued to his neighbours where widespread dengue breeding was detected.
“We have issued notice to the chief minister’s neighbours, which is according to the DMC act. We suspect many more violators in the nearby area and action will be taken against them. Owing to the recent rains, the corporation has intensified the anti-dengue drive across the city,” said an official.
However, officials of Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government accused the corporation of playing politics in the name of public health.
“If they wanted our cooperation, they should have sought a proper time. Walking into the chief minister’s residence early in the morning without prior appointment and pulling such stunts just shows the propaganda of the Bharatiya Janata Party-run MCDs,” said a Delhi government official.
Four more deaths push up dengue toll to 22, spells of rain fuel worry
According to senior officials in the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, mayor Ravinder Gupta and anti-dengue teams went to the chief minister’s residence on Sunday morning to seek the Delhi government’s cooperation and to begin an intensified drive from Kejriwal’s house.
However, Kejriwal refused to meet Gupta and did not allow the teams to enter his residence, the officials said.
“The biggest problem we have during anti-dengue drives is that people don’t allow our people to step inside their residence. We were hoping that if people see such drives being carried out at their leader’s house, it will set a good example,” said Gupta.
NDMC mayor Ravinder Gupta outside the CM's residence. (MCD handout photo)
"However, rather than setting an example for the people and resolving differences for a bigger cause, the chief minister didn’t even allow us to step foot inside his house," he added.
Senior leaders of the AAP that rules Delhi had on Saturday accused the municipal corporations of sitting on funds and indulging in corruption.
"To put the record straight, the party is putting details in the public domain to clear the air. Out of the money paid to MCDs by the Delhi government during the last financial year for ‘medical and public health’, Rs. 213.8 crore is lying unspent as on March 31 this year," AAP spokesperson Dilip Pandey said on Saturday.
"These figures not only show that the BJP-run municipal bodies in the city were negligent and inefficient in dealing with the situation, these details also raise serious question (about) where the money meant for ‘medical and public health’ was diverted to," he added.
Delhi’s unofficial toll of dengue deaths has reached 22 even as fresh rains threaten to spur mosquito breeding and intensify the outbreak. Children continue to be the worst hit with three of the four victims being younger than 18 years of age.