Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) has apparently ignored urban development and housing department secretary S. Siddharth’s directive last week to prevent a dengue outbreak in the city.
In a letter on September 5, Siddharth had asked all urban local bodies, including the PMC, to ensure daily fumigation and removal of garbage from the cities.
“Civic bodies across the state had been asked to keep a check on dengue. Since Aedes mosquitoes transmit the virus that spreads dengue, civic bodies were asked to provide outlets for standing water — in which the mosquitoes breed — and remove garbage and spray insecticides,” said Siddharth.
As on Sunday, there were 160 confirmed and 99 suspected dengue cases in Patna, taking the total number of patients to 259. Sixty of the patients were Patna inhabitants, 22 of them confirmed cases.
Though dengue is spreading rapidly, the PMC does not seem to be bothered. Even ward councillors are fuming over delay in purchase of fogging machines in all 72 wards.
“The PMC’s 2013-14 budget provided for procuring 72 fogging machines, but not one has been purchased. We have been raising this issue at the meetings of the empowered standing committee and the PMC board. At the last standing committee meeting, we were told that purchase of fogging machines was under process but no tenders have been floated yet,” said Abha Lata, a standing committee member and councillor from ward number four.
Every ward should be fumigated for at least three hours a day. But the PMC has just four fogging machines, of which only one works.
Even regular removal of garbage is not happening. The empowered panel recently approved tender documents to procure solid waste management equipment for a project the urban development ministry approved in 2007.
“It is because of perennial delay that we did not approve any new proposal at the last meeting,” said Lata.