Delhi News

‘How do they expect salaries if they don’t do work?’: Court slams Delhi MCDs on dengue

Warning the municipal bodies and their employees that the court will not exercise its discretionary jurisdiction in their favour if the civic conditions in the national capital do not improve, the Delhi High Court Tuesday ordered the local bodies to hold a meeting regarding the rising number of dengue cases.

The division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh ordered the chairpersons of the South, North and East Delhi municipal corporations, the North Delhi Municipal Council as well as the chief executive officer of the Delhi Cantonment Board to conduct a meeting and apprise the court about the steps being taken to control mosquito breeding. The court will hear the matter on December 1.

The court also said that it had earlier raised the issue of geotagging and marking of biometric attendance of employees. “We direct the petitioner to place on record what steps have been taken in this regard. This information should be provided in the affidavit to be filed,” it said in a direction issued to the SDMC while hearing the latter’s petition regarding funds being received from the government by municipal bodies.

Expressing concern over the dengue situation in Delhi, the court said that it has been dealing with non-payment of salaries of municipal employees for months and, in October, had noted that while the employees were clamouring for payment of their dues, the city was suffering due to their inefficient functioning. However, it said that its concern fell on deaf ears as the situation has only worsened.

“This year we are only witnessing a big surge in the number of cases of dengue. There have been several fatalities on account of the said disease,” said the court, while blaming the municipalities.

The court said that the employees were only demanding salaries but nothing was happening on the ground.

“How can it be that every year dengue is increasing? Is it not a municipal function? Is it some rocket science that after the monsoon there will be mosquitos. After the monsoon, there will be dengue. It has been a pattern for the last 15 to 20 years. Is there some rocket science involved? Is there no planning? Is there no thought process?” it asked.

It further noted that the municipal bodies may be overstaffed. “Is it that the municipality has given up everything and it’s only to collect taxes and disburse salaries? We will not entertain this petition. How do they expect salaries if they don’t do work?” the court told the SDMC.

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Delhi News

7k dengue cases in Delhi, 5,000 just this month

Delhi has recorded 7,128 dengue cases so far this year, over 5,000 of them in November alone. This is the highest case count in the city since the big dengue and chikungunya outbreak in 2015.

According to data collated by the MCDs, over 1,800 of these cases have been recorded over the past week alone. No new dengue death has been reported by the corporations this week.

While the highest number of cases has been seen in North Delhi in areas such as Civil Lines and Keshav Puram, Southwest Delhi and Najafgarh also have a high case counts. Over 600 people who tested positive for the disease, meanwhile, could not be “traced after investigation”. In 219 cases, it was found that the patient was not a resident of Delhi.

October and November are months that see the highest number of dengue cases through the year. With temperatures coming down relatively after monsoons, the city provides conducive weather for mosquitoes to breed in clean water. It is in December that cases start to decline as the temperatures dip and breeding of the carrier mosquitoes is disrupted.

Dengue remained largely under control last year, with only 1,072 cases being recorded.

According to data shared by the MCDs, 2.6 cumulative visits have been made to homes by domestic breeding checkers to check for the presence of mosquito breeding. Breeding was found in 1.85 lakh houses and legal notices were issued to 1.4 lakh people.

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Delhi News

341 dengue cases in Delhi; 217 in September, highest in 3 years

Over 340 cases have been reported in the national capital this year, including 217 in September, the highest count for the month in the last three years, official data showed.

According to a civic report on vector-borne diseases released on Monday, a total of 341 cases have been recorded this season till October 2, compared to 266 cases reported over the same period in 2020.

A total of 1,072 cases and one death were logged in the entire year in 2020, stated the report released by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, which is the nodal agency for tabulating data on vector-borne diseases in the city.

Last year, 188 cases were reported in the entire month of September, and 190 in 2019. In preceding years, the corresponding figures had stood at 374 in 2018, 1,103 in 2017, 1,362 in 2016 and 6,775 in 2015, according to data shared by Delhi health department on September 22.

In the previous month this year, about 150 cases of dengue had been recorded till September 25. However, according to the latest data shared by civic authorities, the count of cases logged in the entire September this year (217) has exceeded the corresponding figures in the preceding two years.

The number of dengue cases for January 1-October 2 period stands at 341, which is also the highest this year since 2019 when the count had stood at 356 in the same duration.

No deaths have been reported due to dengue in the city till now.

The number of cases reported in September this year is about 63 per cent of the total cases recorded till date this season.

The total number of cases till September 25 had stood at 273, so 68 fresh cases were logged in one week.

Seventy-two cases were reported in the month of August, according to the report.

Dengue mosquito larvae breed in clear, standing water, while those of malaria thrive even in dirty water.

Cases of vector-borne diseases are usually reported between July and November, but the period may stretch till mid-December.

According to the civic report, 113 cases of malaria and 56 cases of chikungunya have also been reported till October 2 this year.

No cases were registered in January, two in February, five in March, 10 in April, 12 in May, seven in June and 16 in July, it said.

In the previous years, the dengue cases in the same period were 2,133 in 2016, 2,152 in 2017, 650 in 2018, 356 in 2019 and 266 in 2020, the report added.

Malaria, dengue and chikungunya are accompanied with high fever and therefore, doctors feel that people might suspect that they have contracted COVID-19.

Civic bodies in Delhi have intensified their measures to prevent outbreak of vector-borne diseases.

The Delhi government was alert and all prepared to handle any situation that might arise out of dengue cases, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had told reporters early September.

He recently also said that the government’s anti-dengue drive, ’10 Hafte, 10 Baje, 10 Minute’ has been running for the last few weeks to raise awareness on its prevention, and it will be further intensified.

Jain also told reporters that instructions have been issued to the heads of various departments of the city government to take part in its anti-dengue campaign on working days, to ensure no breeding of mosquito larvae are found on its premises.

North Delhi Mayor Raja Iqbal Singh recently had told reporters that the North Delhi Municipal Corporation would run an intensive week-long campaign from October 2-7 to keep vector-borne diseases under control.

South Delhi Mayor Mukesh Suryan had alleged that the Delhi government was playing “campaign politics” when it came to the fight against the vector-borne diseases, and termed its anti-dengue drive an “eyewash”.

Standing Committee Chairman of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation Jogi Ram Jain recently held a meeting with the officials of the public health department on prevention of dengue, malaria and chikungunya.

Jain directed officials to conduct awareness campaigns in all areas under the NDMC so that maximum people can be made aware.

He had also directed them to regularly check for breeding of mosquito larvae on premises of government buildings, schools, offices, community buildings and dispensaries.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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