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BMC’s publicity stunt?

The civic body should have taken steps to prevent the spread of dengue instead of issuing notices to celebrities.

BMCAt a time when dengue cases has been rising in Mumbai the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is busy issuing notices to celebrities like Anil Kapoor, Juhi Chawla, Jitendra and singer Amit Kumar. What is the purpose of issuing notices to celebrities when the BMC has failed to check the spread of dengue in cooperative housing societies and slum areas? The notices, which were issued under Mumbai municipal corporation act, were for failing to keep the premises of their residence clean and tidy.

The civic body should have paid more attention to sanitising slum areas as water gets accumulated in these areas thereby forming breeding grounds for mosquitoes. By sending notices to celebrities the BMC is only trying to gain publicity. The nation has been witnessing rise in number of cases since the outbreak of dengue. Delhi is the worst affected and has reported more than 3,700 cases of dengue. With temperature rising, case of dengue, caused by Aedes Aegypti breeding indoors, are steadily climbing.

“Even though the Shiv Sena has been in power for a long period of time in the BMC but they have failed to provide basic amenities to the public, weather its water, desilting, nullah cleaning. Instead of addressing these issues, they are involved in unnecessary things. It is the civic body’s job to ensure that cleanliness is maintained in the city but they are busy issuing notices to film stars. Who gave them authority to examine celebrities’ houses?” said Ex-Congress MLA Krishna Hegde.

“BMC has failed to perform their jobs efficiently. They should sanitise the slum areas and dengue-affected areas. Where does the budget of BMC go? The BMC buildings; schools are also highly vulnerable to dengue and other such diseases. Instead of serving notice to these celebrities they should first monitor the functioning of their officials” said RTI activist Anil Galgali.

Sudesh Singh, a Kandivali resident said, “There has been a rise in dengue cases in the city but the BMC has failed to take effective steps to avert it. Instead it is sending notices to celebrities simply to gain publicity.”

Ramesh Atre, a Borivali resident said, “It is necessary to maintain hygiene and clean our neighbourbood to check the rise of dengue. Citizens need to play a proactive role to prevent the spread of this disease. Simply blaming the BMC for rising cases of dengue won’t work.”

Nilu Gupte, a Santacruz resident said, “BMC officials are trying to extract some money from these celebrities, nothing else. Dengue is a serious issue, what steps is the BMC taking to curb the deaths? Was it necessary to issue notices instead of taking precautions and provide medical facilities to the affected persons?”

“I live in apartment in Jogeshwari. My bed-room window faces a nullah hence, mosquitoes thrive in our area. The situation gets worse in monsoons. Despite filing complaints with the society and local ward officers no action has been taken yet” said Zubin Lakhdawala, a Jogeshwari resident.

The BMC had inspected several bungalows including Amitabh Bachchan, Shilpa Shetty, Shabana Azmi. Those who failed to comply with the rules and bungalows had breeding mosquito spots were issued notices. The actors, who have been issued notices, will have to pay fine ranging between 2,000 to 10,000 in magistrate courts.

According to sources, BMC officials found breeding sites in a fountain in a garden at Jitendra’s residence. At Anil Kapoor’s residence, a breeding site was found outside his house in a tarpaulin sheet. According to civic officials, a breeding site was found in an ornamental pot at Chawla’s flat.

Since January, 469 patients have tested positive for dengue. The death toll has reached three, the latest victim being a 36-year-old woman from Andheri West.

The death toll due to dengue rose to three in the city with a Andheri (West) woman succumbing at Nair hospital. The 36-year-old woman, residing at Joseph Patel Wadi, was admitted to hospital on September 12 after suffering from fever, chills, body ache and vomiting for over five days. The delay in hydration and corrective treatment worsened her condition.

The maximum cases have been reported in Byculla (E ward), Lower Parel and Parel (G South ward), where 63 cases have been reported since January. In September alone, the city has reported 163 cases of confirmed dengue.

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