Wednesday, September 07, 2005
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IN TODAY'S PAPER
Since 1st March, 1999
The 'D' company
- Civic officials, past and present, and government health honchos '
brings you the rogues' gallery responsible for dengue reaching epidemic proportions
Surjya Kanta Mishra, health minister:
He ignored the initial warning of a dengue outbreak. He passed off the cases as media hype and followed it up with statements like “the situation is under control”, only to retract all that when the situation spun out of control.
Subrata Mukherjee, former mayor:
He overlooked the need to tackle the mosquito menace. He saw no need to repair the 65 non-functional fogging machines, and spent civic funds on “bigger projects” like Citizens’ Park and Star Theatre. He terminated the services of 80 casual vector control staff.
Pradip Ghosh, former mayoral council member (health):
He held office mostly without doing anything to occupy the position. During his tenure, larvicide worth over Rs 10 lakh lay rotting in the central godown. This was discovered at the end of Subrata Mukherjee’s tenure.
Prabhakar Chatterjee, director of health services:
He was unaware of the dengue threat and was unprepared when it finally struck. There was, and continues to be, an acute shortage of dengue-testing kits. He also ignored the stray reports of dengue reaching him. Till it was too late.
Subodh De, current mayoral council member(health):
He says attempts are being made to activate vector control programmes, but beyond that, his hands are tied. “We have no kits to test for dengue and there is no treatment for the disease either,” is his refrain.
Atanu Mukherjee, former officer on special duty (health), CMC:
Personally appointed by Subrata Mukherjee, his preferred way of functioning was to keep the malaria figures on the “lower side”. This was admitted by mayor Bikash Bhattacharya on Tuesday.
Dipankar Das, CMC deputy chief medical officer in charge of eradicating dengue:
He took over about two weeks ago, but has been busy shrugging off his responsibility. His standard dengue line: “I do not know anything about it. Where is the epidemic'”
Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, mayor:
He ignored the early signals. “I still believe dengue has not reached an epidemic proportion. How can you reach such a conclusion on the basis of a few thousand blood sample tests in a city of six million people'” he asked on Tuesday.
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