| One of the constables suffering from dengue at the private hospital in Alamganj on Friday. Seven constables of Bihar Military Police’s first women’s battalion are suffering from the disease. Picture by Sachin |
The custodians of law are finding it difficult to stave off the winged menace and are falling victims to the dengue virus.
Bihar Military Police (BMP) woman constables, have blamed the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) for the poor sanitary conditions around their quarters at Alamganj in Patna City, which could be one of the reasons for their plight.
Seven constables of BMP’s first battalion for women have been diagnosed with dengue. The condition of two of them is serious. They have undergone platelet transfusion. All of them have been admitted to a private nursing home.
Back at their quarters, where around 100 woman constables and a few male counterparts live, most of their colleagues are a scared lot.
“Jab hamara ye haal ho sakta hai, to aam aadmi ka kya hoga aap samajh hi sakte hain. (When this is our condition, you can understand what would be the condition of common people),” said Annu Kumari, one of the constables at the quarters.
She said: “The civic body officials neglect our area. I’m sure no area in the city gets proper civic service.”
The constable said: “We have been living here since January this year but have never seen any PMC official coming here. Forget about fogging, the civic officials don’t even come here to cart the garbage. Now, our colleagues are suffering from dengue. A malaria outbreak is just waiting to happen.”
Kavita Mishra, another constable with the battalion, said: “There is waterlogging and ditches in our area. As the PMC does nothing, we are forced to sprinkle bleaching powder around the campus. We are really worried.”
She said though the constables had taken up the initiative of sprinkling bleaching power around the campus, they can hardly do anything about the stagnant water and garbage outside. “The dengue mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) can flourish there easily,” said Kavita.
The male constables of the BMP were also angry at the situation. “We have a very demanding job. We are on our feet all through the day. But when we return to the quarters, we encounter unhygienic conditions,” said a constable, who did not want to be named.
He said whenever the constables make a mistake their superiors reprimand them. “Why can’t the government punish the PMC officials who are not doing their job?”
The woman constables suffering from the disease also blamed the PMC for their plight. “The civic body is responsible for our condition. Had they carried out fumigation in the area where our quarters are, we would not have been struck by dengue,” said one of them.
Asked about the poor sanitary condition in Alamganj, mayor Afzal Imam, who also lives in the area, said he did not have any idea about the quarters of the woman constables. He said: “I shall tell the councillor concerned to carry out fogging in the ward.”