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Sunday, Aug 25, 2019

Government will be responsible for dengue outbreak in Delhi, says south body

SDMC officials, who did not wish to be named, said that last year, the government had released Rs 32.50 crore for the job and its first instalment of around Rs 10 crore had come by April — beginning of the financial year.

delhi Updated: Jul 13, 2019 08:07 IST
Baishali Adak
Baishali Adak
New Delhi
The south body alleged the government had sanctioned only Rs 2.15 crore for vector-borne disease control.
The south body alleged the government had sanctioned only Rs 2.15 crore for vector-borne disease control.(HT archive)
         

Ahead of the rainy season, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) officials said they may not be able to control the mosquito menace in the area as they do not have the money to buy anti-larval medicines such as Malathion and Temephos used in fogging and disinfecting coolers at homes.

The corporation accused the Delhi government of not releasing their dues.

There was no response from the Delhi government despite repeated calls and messages to the spokesperson and minister Satyendar Jain’s office.

At a press conference on Friday, Sunita Kangra, mayor of the BJP-led SDMC, said, “The AAP-led Delhi government will be responsible for any dengue, chikungunya or malaria epidemic outbreak in south Delhi this season. Besides, the municipality also has no money to pay its 1,175-strong work force of domestic breeding checkers (DBCs), who go from door to door looking for mosquito genesis and the 734 contractual field workers, who conduct fogging outdoors and spray medicines in drains.” 

Kangra added that they had asked Delhi government to provide ₹49 crore for vector-borne disease control under the Plan Head of the Public Health Department earlier this year. “They allocated only Rs 34.60 crore, of which only Rs 2.15 crore has been sanctioned so far.”

SDMC officials, who did not wish to be named, said that last year, the government had released Rs 32.50 crore for the job and its first instalment of around Rs 10 crore had come by April — beginning of the financial year.

“This helped us pay the DBC workers and purchase requisite medicines, diesel for fogging and relevant machines. Hence, outbreak of vector-borne diseases was controlled,” officials said. The total salary per month of all the 1,175 DBC workers put together stands at Rs 2.75 crore.

SDMC’s leader of the house, Kamaljeet Sehrawat said that the financial crisis is such that the civic body will run short of its stock of medicines soon.

“We have been unable to pay DBCs and contractual field workers for the past 3 months. They may go on strike any time. The medicine stock will last barely 2 months and not until the entire mosquito breeding season that goes up to October,” she said adding that DBC workers are meeting the civic body leaders and have threatened to go on a strike.

Other SDMC officers said that they met health minister Satyendar Jain but are yet to get any relief. The officials said they would also stage a protest in front of the chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s house on Friday.

Last year, 473 cases of Malaria, 2798 cases of dengue and 165 cases of chikungunya were reported in the city.

The corresponding figures for 2017 were 577 cases of malaria, 4,726 cases of dengue and 559 cases of chikungunya.

First Published: Jul 13, 2019 08:07 IST

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