Even after being issued several letters from the health department to conduct fogging in sensitive areas to prevent the outbreak of vector-borne diseases the municipal corporation of Patiala has failed to comply.
The toll of dengue cases has reached 54. However the residents are yet to see fogging machines in their areas.
Due to the apathetic attitude of the civic body authorities, there has been a sharp rise in mosquito density in many localities. Clogged drains, accumulated garbage and stagnant water facilitates have become the breeding ground of mosquitoes.
The worst affected areas include Tripari, Ratan Nagar, Anand Nagar and Bindra colony, these areas have been on the radar of vector-borne diseases due to acute water logging problem. The drains of these areas are choked due to which waste water gets accumulated in the streets and houses.
The civic authorities continue to remain out of sight for the locals as the problem continues to become worse.
Residents rued that they had reported the matter to the MC several times, but all in vain.
Manmeet a resident of Bindra Colony said the authorities only react after an outbreak of a disease. Despite knowing the fact that these areas are sensitive they fail to conduct timely fogging drives.
The situation at Tripari even after the outbreak of dengue remains unaffected as the pond which is right behind the government senior secondary school is over flown and the garbage heaps surrounding it, has made the whole area stinky.
"There have been numerous complains of stomach and skin related problems in our area near choti nadi, as even after one single downpour the sewage water sweeps into the houses and remains stagnant in the streets for days. Even the ground water has been infected and is causing problems to the residents," said Balbir Singh.
According to health officials to make fogging drives effective, the civic authorities must make a prior announcement to inform residents so that they can open their house windows.
Meanwhile the municipal corporation authorities maintained that they have been conducting fogging regularly from the past one and a half month. The health department has also constituted 17 teams after the outbreak of dengue.
To cater to a population of around 3.5 lakh, the municipal health department of the city is equipped with only two fogging machines out of which one has been completely dysfunctional from the past few years. The department has only nine small handy machines.
Last year, the city had witnessed an outbreak of epidemic gastroenteritis, where almost 300 cases were registered including three deaths with cholera.
Meera Kumari, resident of Tripari: My son has been lying sick for over a week now. Every year we complain to the MC, however till date we have been waiting for fogging drives to take place. No local councillor has visited the houses of the affected people.
Charanjit Singh, shopkeeper at Ratan Nagar: Only after the outbreak of dengue did we get to see fogging drives take place, but the drive was conducted only once and people are falling sick daily.
Pallvinder Kaur, resident of Anand Nagar: Despite the outbreak of dengue we haven't seen fogging take place in our area. We haven't heard from the councillor either. The authorities have become immune to our complaints.
Yadwinder Banga municipal corporation health officer: The department has been conducting the drives on a daily basis; the reason for the outbreak is casual approach of the residents.