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City ill, corporators unconcerned

Even with the number of cases increasing by 75 per cent at civic health centres at all 24 wards, your representatives in the municipal corporation have made no effort to control the situation.

mumbai Updated: Aug 11, 2010 01:21 IST
Bhavika Jain

Even with the number of cases increasing by 75 per cent at civic health centres at all 24 wards, your representatives in the municipal corporation have made no effort to control the situation.

The report on the kind and number of illnesses reported at civic health centres from April 2009 to March 2010, which was released on Tuesday by NGO Praja Foundation, revealed that during the ward committee meetings, corporators hardly raised concerns on health issues, such as how to control diseases or keep the areas clean.

At F south ward (Parel) committee meetings, one of the worst affected wards, only one question pertaining to health issues was raised between 2008-10.

While three questions on the health situation were asked in the E ward (Byculla) committee meetings in 2008-09, not a single question was raised in the meetings in 2009-10.

Both Byculla and Parel are on the municipal body's high-risk zones for malaria because of increased construction activities. "Corporators are not interested because these [ward committees] don't give them enough scope to exhort money," alleged Julio Dias, a resident of Kalina.

The deteriorating state of health in the city also didn't draw the attention of the 36 corporators on the civic health committee, which meets once a month.

Only 30 questions were raised in the 12 health committee meetings held in 2009-10 — that is an average of two questions in each meeting. The white paper said the maximum questions were raised on staff behaviour, health infrastructure and health policy.

The attendance too was abysmal. In the 12 health committee meetings conducted in 2009-10, 11 of the 36 corporators attended five or less meetings, 24 attended six to 10 meetings, and only one corporator attended 11 meetings.

Despite being present at the meetings, most did not even raise an issue. While 21 corporators asked no questions in their tenure as members of the health committee in a year, 13 corporators asked one to three questions and only two corporators asked four to six questions.

"They are our representatives, they should take more interest in the welfare of the public. Their poor attendance only shows the lack of interest and knowledge," said Sharada Mathur, a resident of Parel.