The end of the Commonwealth Games has also meant the end of fogging in the city that is already battling a severe dengue outbreak.
Even as city hospitals are full to the brim, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has stopped fogging—an immediate way to kill and eradicate adult mosquitoes infected with the virus. The civic agency has alleged that with the Games over dengue has taken a backseat as the Delhi government is dilly-dallying over releasing the funds.
The civic agency had demanded R79 crore out of which only R27 crore was released. This money was exhausted in the Games’ preparation. The Delhi government, on the other hand, has said that money will only be released after it checks the MCD”s expenditure records.
On Sunday, the total number of cases reached 5,063 with 81 new cases being reported from the city. The civic agency has said that fogging will begin only after the Delhi government releases the money. In addition to this, due to the financial crunch, the MCD’s domestic breeding checkers (DBC) who make rounds of every house to check breeding have also not been paid their salary for the past three months.
“Our staff carried out whatever fogging they could by taking diesel on credit but as we haven’t paid them for some time even they have started refusing us. Fogging has been stopped in most areas and will start after funds are released by the government,” said VK Monga, chairman of the MCD’s medical health committee. “We have been told by the government that money will be released soon but till date we haven’t received a single penny,” he added.
“We have taken up the matter with the Delhi chief minister and also called an emergency meeting with the senior MCD officials. We will not let the Delhi citizens suffer. We will disburse the funds after we receive a report on the funds spent on tackling dengue by the MCD,” said Kiran Walia, Delhi health minister.
Sources say, the money will only be spent after the government scrutinises the MCD’s expenditure records on dealing with the dengue menace.
According to the civic body the amount released to them before the Games was spent on buying expensive chemicals such as synthetic Pyrethroid to kill mosquitoes and other insects from all the sports and training venues of Games.