THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: “It seems the mosquitoes are moving from one ward to another when corporation finally comes visiting with a working fogging machine,” said BJP’s Trikannapuram councillor Anil Kumar K.
“I do not think mosquitoes will be scared if the health officials came in uniforms,” said Nanthencode councillor Palayam Rajan. “One of the relatives asked me if it was safe to consume homeo medicine supplied by corporation as a preventive for dengue. I said no,” said Akkulam Councillor VR Sini.
These comments made by various councillors at the special council held in the corporation seemed like a light banter. With the city reporting maximum number of dengue cases in the state, the council saw an acrimonious session with members from ruling and opposition benches taking potshots at each other over failure to implement strategies to prevent dengue.
The session saw a combined opposition cornering Mayor V K Prashant and the Health Standing Committee chairperson K Sreekumar seeking explanation for a rise in dengue cases. BJP councillors were more vocal. Karamana Ajith demanded the resignation of Sreekumar while Anil Kumar listed out the problems with the Health Department.
“Our sanitation work has been poor. Health inspectors are busy collecting money for union meet. They neither wear uniform while on duty nor attend office on time,” he said. According to him, the allocation of Rs 35,000 for a health circle was not enough to carry out proper sanitation work. It should be raised to Rs 75,000, he said.
CMP councillor Sini said the Corporation officials did not inform the councillors about the homeo tablets distributed as vaccines against dengue. She said, the Kuravankonam councillor Maya R S left the session in between since her daughter was diagnosed with dengue. Anil Kumar D of Congress and Beemapally Rasheed of IUML complained that the work done by the health officials was far from satisfactory.
Satheesh Kumar R, Solomon Vettucaud of CPI and Palayam Rajan of Congress (S) defended the health standing committee and said it had carried out its work.
“The anti-mosquito drives were started by the corporation eight months back. I did not get much support from the BJP councillors then. They wanted to politicise the issue. We are continuing with our effort to fog, clean the drains, school campuses etc,” said Health Standing Committee chairperson K Sreekumar. “The sanitation committee visited over 1.5 lakh houses. We will have more sanitation workers recruited. We have requested the government to change the old staff pattern followed by the corporation,” said Mayor V K Prashant.
The Mayor refused BJP councillors’ demand to extend time in order to allow other members to speak. When the demand was denied they remained on their seats even after the session was declared over by the Mayor.
Corporation plans to publish the names of those dumping waste at public places in the newspapers. The name shaming attempt is being made to dissuade public from littering places which were cleaned by the corporation.
The Mayor has sought public’s support to identify such people. On Sunday, a clean up drive was carried out in the 12 circles and 19 loads of waste was removed. The corporation has deployed people to identify those throwing wastes at these spots. The clean-up drive will continue till June 5.