JAVED AHMED KHAN, mayor-in-council member (health) in the Calcutta Municipal Corporation and Trinamul Congress councillor of ward no. 66, met readers of The Telegraph at Topsia last week and replied to their queries. Participants included Amitava Chatterjee, Asoke Kumar Hore, Panchu Chowdhury, Giasuddin Dhali, Lakshmi Nath, Manowar Khan, Md. Habib, Sk. Arif Ali, Md. Ali, Md. Niaz, Md. Aslam, Md. Abdul Hasan, Md. Ansar Ali, Rabin Banerjee, Roshan Ali and Izaz Ahmed
Md. Ali: The bridge near Kohinoor Market cannot be used because of encroachments.
To ease the traffic flow, another bridge was built next to the existing one. But the situation cannot improve till the encroachments are removed, which is the responsibility of the state government.
Lakshmi Nath: We residents of Raicharan Road, near Tiljala police station, are plagued by waterlogging every monsoon. We hear Rs 16 lakh was sanctioned to tackle the problem. What happened to the funds'
There used to be a big pond in your area. It was filled to construct 208 apartments. Earlier, rain water would flow into the pond but now, there is no way that the water can drain out. To tackle the problem, we had demanded Rs 27 lakh but a year-and-a-half ago, only Rs 16 lakh was granted. Due to some unknown reason, however, the project could not be taken up.
Lakshmi Nath: There is a health centre in our area. Doctors there advise the patientís family at the eleventh hour to remove the expectant mothers to nursing homes.
Only normal delivery is conducted at maternity homes run by the CMC. But in case of a surgery, they refer the patients to a government hospital. Is any doctor of a CMC maternity home really referring patients to a private nursing home'
Sk. Arif Ali: East Topsia is not cleaned and the area remains in the dark after sunset. The road, too, is in a poor state.
The road is under PWD jurisdiction and it is really in bad shape. I shall see to it that it is repaired. There were streetlights on the stretch but after the dumping ground was relocated, the area remains in darkness. Let me see what can be done to improve the situation.
Md. Niaz: In the earlier pulse polio campaigns, doctors went from door to door administering the drops. Why has the practice been discontinued'
This time, the campaign was held booth-wise. I shall inquire why the doctors did not visit every house.
Md. Aslam: Two years ago, you had promised us a free hospital.
A 50-bed hospital, with the help of a charitable trust, is coming up between Sunny Park and Topsia. The hospital should open its doors by this year-end.
Md. Abdul Hasan: We need a Higher Secondary school. Is that possible'
I shall see what can be done.
Md. Abdul Hasan: The TB hospital in Park Circus is quite useless because it does not cater to the poor. The land, though, was given to the society that runs the hospital so that the poor can get treatment.
It is true that the hospital was set up for the poor. It was a 50-bed hospital dedicated to the treatment of tuberculosis that has now turned into a nursing home. I have asked my department to look into it.
Md. Ansar Ali: The Centre allotted some funds for saving stray dogs. But, allegedly, the panel entrusted with the task is selling the dogs.
Earlier, stray and rabid dogs were caught and killed at Dhapa. But the practice changed after Maneka Gandhi, then Central minister, raised objections. An organisation was asked to look after the dogs and funds were provided to it. Recently, allegations were raised against the panel for misuse of funds. I have asked my department to probe the matter.
Rabin Banerjee: Touts at the burning ghat force us to buy stuff at a higher price.
I shall ask my department to make an inquiry into the matter.
Rabin Banerjee: A good number of civic doctors are carrying on private practice.
It is true. Even the officer on special duty (health) himself is involved in it. I have drawn the attention of the mayor and the civic commissioner to this.
Roshan Ali: The Kusthia health centre is closed for years.
It is a very old health centre. Already, the ground floor has been repaired and the file for repairing the second floor has been sent to the PWD for sanctioning the necessary funds.
Roshan Ali: How was the Chetla maternity home handed over to an NGO'
I was not informed about the handover. It was done by the officer on special duty (health) and the mayor himself. This NGO is charging much higher rates.
Izaz Ahmed: After tobacco products, now even mineral water can cause cancer. In this, what can the CMC do'
In these cases, as licences are issued either by the Central or state government, we can discuss the risk and take measures.