Out of the 136 fresh polio cases detected in the country, as many as 97 were in Uttar Pradesh this year, according to a new report.
Alarmed by the report, the state government hurriedly convened a high level meeting here last Sunday to chalk out a new polio immunization programme.
Under the plan, a fresh round of polio drops will be given to infants across the state on Aug 9.
According to S.K. Jain, head of the state polio eradication programme: "Since the problem was more acute in parts of western Uttar Pradesh, special emphasis would be laid in Moradabad, Jyotiba Phule Nagar, Rampur and Barielly districts."
Admitting that the minority-dominated areas still remain the dark spots of the polio immunization programme, he said: "Renewed efforts would be made to make people aware about how important it was for them to ensure a polio-free child."
According to official records, 69 polio cases were reported in Uttar Pradesh in 2005. This figure shot up to 305 in 2008.
Refusal to take the oral vaccines, poor health and sanitary conditions as well as lack of basic hygiene were stated to be the key reasons behind the unabated rise in the incidence of polio in the state.