National Akali Dal activists protesting against rise in dengue cases in New Delhi, Sept. 16. (Kamal Kishore | PTI)

National Akali Dal activists protesting against rise in dengue cases in New Delhi, Sept. 16. (Kamal Kishore | PTI)

Spurt in dengue cases has put the focus on the need to contain the breeding of mosquitoes, with the BJP-ruled civic bodies coming under fire from Congress and AAP for their alleged “inefficiency and inaction” in this regard. As the political parties play a blame game, citizens in Delhi are becoming more and more vulnerable to the dreadful virus. Kids and adults are dying due to inefficient care or no care in some cases being provided by hospitals in and around Delhi.

According to Congress, nearly Rs. 45 crore is being spent annually by the three corporations to control vector-borne diseases but their “inefficiency” and lack of infrastructure have led to the widespread dengue outbreak.

“Anticipating the number of dengue cases to increase this year, we raised the issue from the month of June. As rain water was not draining, so chances of larvae breeding were higher still no measure was taken by the civic body. Now after so many deaths, corporation has started to act.

“The corporation earlier failed to pay the salary to its sanitation staff, now they do not have infrastructure for Dengue Breed Checkers (DBCs) and field workers to check breeding. There is shortfall of staff by 50%. So the staff dealing with outbreak is ill-equipped and dissatisfied,” leader of opposition in South Corporation Farhad Suri said.

Suri said that the civic body and the Delhi and central governments should not only be charged with “negligence” in case of death of dengue patient after being denied admission but also booked for abetment to suicide.

Some councilors raised the issue of larva breeding inside South and North municipal corporation headquarters in Civic Center building.

Congress also alleged that corporation is not conducting fumigation and are underplaying the number of dengue patients.

“I have not seen any fumigation being done in my area.

There is only one fogging machine in the central zone of SDMC catering to 30 wards. This means in time of emergency like this fogging will be done only once in 40 days.

“Civic agencies are underplaying the number of dengue patients and death case. There were two deaths due to dengue in my area but corporation is not showing in its record,” Abhishek Dutt, a Congress councilor said.

Slamming the BJP-led corporations, Aam Aadmi Party said the corporations have turned Delhi into “garbage capital” leading to vector-borne diseases.

“All the preventive aspect of the disease comes under civic body and it is very clear how much fumigation and sanitation work they have done over the years. The curative or the medical aspect lies with central government, Delhi government, MCD and private hospitals. We demand all the agencies to work together to control the situation,” AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha said.

However, passing the blame on to Delhi government, a senior municipal officer said that Delhi government each year give Rs. 80 crore to municipal corporation for malaria and dengue awareness programs but so far they have not released any money to the corporations.

In order to control the situation, municipal corporations claimed that they have stepped up preventive measures including fumigation of areas and issuing of challans to households and institutions to prevent mosquito-breeding in their premises.

Till September 12, North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has reported 776 cases, the highest among the three civic bodies.

“We have stepped up anti-larval measures, advisories have been issued to ensure children wear full-sleeve shirts. And, we already have enough dengue-breeding checking resources, but will increase them on a need basis,” a senior NDMC official said.

South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), which has about strength of 2,400 employees deployed as dengue breeding checkers (DBCs) and field workers, said that it has increased the fumigation drive as the number of cases has increased.