Consider these two facts: October is the month when vector-borne disease dengue spreads. October is also the month when Delhi will host the Commonwealth Games.
So logically, the MCD’s domestic breeding checkers (DBCs) should be on their toes finding localities where mosquitoes are breeding.
Here’s the sting: the DBCs are busy conducting a door-to-door property tax survey for the MCD. This at a time when mosquito breeding has already been detected in many areas. “This year, summer came early leading to the early onset of mosquito breeding. Normally, we start door-to-door checking in June. This year, we had to do it in April. Now that we have to carry out the property tax survey, breeding checking exercise will suffer,” said N.K. Yadav, medical health officer, MCD.
MCD commissioner K.S. Mehra had recently asked the agency to be “extra alert” as there was a potential for spread of diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, cholera and typhoid due to large-scale construction and presence of migrant labour in the city.
The MCD’s 3,200 DBCs are already busy in six zones with the property tax survey. The survey will start soon in other zones. “We are conducting the property tax survey in all 272 wards. It will be carried out by the 3,200 DBCs. They are being trained by the property tax department,” said Deep Mathur, director press and information, MCD. The data collected will help MCD identify tax payers who are not in the tax net. It will also be known which taxpayers are not filing correct property returns and to what extent.
The health department has raised concerns over this decision, as they are already short-staffed. The health department has already found 3 per cent breeding in urban areas including Dwarka, Palam, Badarpur, Tughlaqabad and many South and Central Delhi areas, and 5 per cent in unauthorised colonies, which is highly unusual for this time of the year.