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Call for councillors to fight dengue

Calcutta: Mosquito-control measures will get a boost if councillors join health workers in making door-to-door visits, mayoral council member Atin Ghosh said during a discussion on the Calcutta Municipal Corporation budget in the civic house on Tuesday.

Ghosh urged all councillors to visit the houses in their respective wards and educate the residents on how to prevent breeding of mosquitoes on their premises.

"Political will plays an important part in preventing vector-borne diseases. I will again request councillors to visit households," Ghosh said. "A visit from a people's representative creates a far greater impact than a health worker."

Dengue, spread by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, affected hundreds of people and claimed many lives in the city and its surrounding areas last year. Another mosquito-borne disease - malaria - also affects many every year.

The CMC's health department has given each of the 144 councillors Rs 20,000 to spend on hiring autorickshaws and printing publicity materials as part of awareness campaign.

A recent amendment to the CMC act empowers the civic authorities to impose a penalty of up to Rs 1 lakh on the owner or occupier of a property where mosquito-breeding sites are found even after repeated reminders to destroy them.

Ghosh also said the CMC had already started the process of buying six mobile dispensaries. "These dispensaries will be deployed in big wards. Wards 57 and 58, in the Dhapa area, are two such wards where we have plans to use the dispensaries," Ghosh said.

The CMC has proposed to allocate Rs 156.61 crore to its health department in 2018-19, up from Rs 133.18 crore in the revised estimate for 2017-18.

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