Tackling water, vector-borne diseases: Brahm Mohindra raps ‘non-serious’ officials, says will fix responsibility now
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Tackling water, vector-borne diseases: Brahm Mohindra raps ‘non-serious’ officials, says will fix responsibility now

Instead of top officials of departments, their deputies attended the state task force meeting, most of officials came ill-prepared.

punjab Updated: Jul 25, 2017 10:39 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Ravinder Vasudeva
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
vector-borne diseases,Brahm Mohindra,Punjab health minister
Punjab health minister Brahm mohindra interacting with officials of various departments during a meeting of teh state task force in Chandigarh on Monday. (HT Photo)

Officials of 11 government departments on Monday got a rap from health minister Brahm Mohindra for their “non-seriousness” approach to help the health department in fighting dengue, chikungunya and other water and vector-borne diseases.

Chairing a meeting of the state task force set up to check the spread of vector-borne diseases, the minister got furious when he saw junior officers, mostly deputy directors, attending the meeting instead of secretaries. Secretaries of departments of local government, rural development, water and sanitation, transport, roadways, fisheries, animal husbandry, medical education and research, education and labour and representatives of Indian Medical Association (IMA) were invited for the meeting. However, health secretary, local bodies’ department director and director general school education were present.

“This shows how serious the departments and officials are to check dengue and chikungunya. I will not tolerate this and will fix the responsibility of every department. You are helping in creating an environment where these diseases would become epidemics,” said Mohindra, at the very onset of the meeting after the introductory note.

The minister also got upset in the department-wise analysis as no official came with the action taken report. At the first meeting of the task force on April 6, the minister had directed officials to come prepared for the next meeting with relevant ground report and their preparedness to check vector-borne diseases.

KK Yadav, director of the local bodies department, which is headed by Navjot Singh Sidhu, claimed that fogging has been increased in towns and cities and challans were being issued to violators. But Mohindra was quick to counter him with a document showing that tenders for procurement of fogging machines in Amritsar have been floated a few days back and July 24 was the last date to apply for it. “It will take another month to procure these machines. What are we waiting for?”asked the minister.

To this, Yadav said the delay in the tendering process was due to the transfer of executive officers a few days back.

The minister thereafter slammed deputy director, rural development and panchayati raj department, Gurmeet Singh Sidhu, when he failed to furnish any report over the task given to the department during the meeting. “Your department was given some goals in first meeting of the task force. But you are coming in the meeting empty-handed. Health department officials don’t have to repair a water line if its supply is mixed with sewage. Take some responsibilities as many people die due to water-borne diseases every year,” the minister said.

The IMA Punjab president, who represented private hospitals at the meeting, also faced the minister’s ire. “Private hospitals are not reporting about the death or admission of dengue and chikungunya patients. You simply don’t bother but now private hospitals flaunting rules won’t be spared,” said the minister.

Sources said that last month, the minister wrote letters to ministers of local bodies, panchayati raj department and education to co-operate with health department, but there was no reply.

First Published: Jul 25, 2017 10:35 IST