Much ahead of the dengue season, the New Delhi Municipal Council has started to prepare itself against this threat. It served challans to over 200 buildings after it found mosquitoes breeding in their premises.
The buildings included the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and the offices of the Environment and Telecommunication Ministries at Paryavaran Bhawan and Sanchar Bhawan, respectively.
The body formed a surveillance team in May and has been conducting checks on all buildings in its jurisdiction. The body also served notices to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Lady Hardinge Hospital, Paryavaran Bhawan, Meghdoot Bhawan, Sanchar Bhawan, Baroda House, Kashmir House, Red Cross Society, Shivaji Stadium, Delhi High Court and All India Radio.
Dr P.K. Sharma, Medical Officer of Health, NDMC’s Public Health Department, told this newspaper, “It is a precautionary measure that has to be carried out irrespective of the department which is housed in the building. As responsible people, I think the people managing these places should and will curb mosquito breeding in their building’s premises.”
NDMC officials also said that last year nearly 125 notices were served to Rashtrapati Bhavan after several mosquito breeding places were found there. Over 12,000 cases of dengue were reported from the national capital last year and at least 38 people had lost their lives.
Health Minister J.P. Nadda asked for a dengue preparedness plan from the Delhi government and Delhi’s municipal bodies. Delhi’s Health Minister Satyender Jain said that the government has started work to raise awareness.
According to officials, the Delhi government will start the dengue awareness drive while the municipal bodies will be pressed to fasten their desilting work which is still stuck. The government will also train sanitation workers in a phased training exercise to tackle dengue and in the second phase it will train school teachers and executive engineers.
When approached for comment, the superintendents of the above mentioned hospitals refused to respond. However, AIIMS and Ram Manohar Lohia hospital officials confirmed that this is a regular case and it is difficult for them to handle the matter with limited resources. Elsewhere in the city, PWD data shows major drains remain choked in areas like Wazirpur Industrial Area-Azadpur Nallah, Anand Parbat-ShastriNagar-Sadar Bazar Nallah, Delhi Gate Nalla, Sen Nursing Home Nallah, Khabar Pass Nallah and Mori Gate Nallah.
The Delhi government has faced criticism from different quarters including the opposition BJP on its alleged inability to work in coordination with its civic agencies like the Delhi Jal Board and Public Works Department.