Bhubaneswar, Feb. 11: Officials of the health department and the Khurda district administration have decided to crack down on illegal establishments carrying out tests to determine sex of foetuses in a bid to curb incidents of female foeticide.
A joint squad raided five ultrasound centres yesterday. It seized three ultrasound machines and lodged cases against two of these ultrasound units.
On August 30 last year, health department officials had sealed an ultrasound centre in Unit-II for not having a valid licence.
Deputy director of health and family welfare department Rajendra Mishra, who is also the nodal officer of Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC & PNDT) Act, 1994, in the state, said the raids would continue.
“We will carry out raids on ultrasound centres conducting sex determination tests in the city,” said Mishra.
According to the latest census in 2011, Bhubaneswar has the lowest sex ratio among 10 cities in the state with a population of more than one lakh. Bhubaneswar was placed at the bottom with 882 females to 1,000 males, whereas Cuttack topped the list with 997 females to 1,000 males. Contradictorily, Bhubaneswar also has the highest literacy rate among these 10 cities.
The decrease in the child sex ratio in the city in the past decade has been a major concern for the government. The sex ratio in the city in the age group 0-6 years decreased to 902 from 912 in the 2001 census.
Sources in the state health department said it would undertake sting operations to nab offenders.
“Though the proposal has been made on pen and paper only, it will be executed shortly,” said a senior official of the department.
In a sting operation, a pregnant woman is sent as a decoy along with support such as mobility, wages and pocket allowance. Her visit is recorded through hidden cameras, which can be produced as evidence in a court of law.