NEW DELHI: Dengue cases have not come down despite the Modi government’s Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U), rather, they have increased by 60 per cent in the last three years, Government data reveals. Thousands of crores were spent on various measures, including construction of toilets to keep the cities clean, and more than 2,000 cities were declared Open Defecation Free. But his has had no visible impact on vector-borne diseases like dengue.
The number of dengue cases reported in the country in 2015 was 99,913 of which 220 people died. This number went up by 30 per cent in 2016 with 1,29,166 cases reported and 245 deaths while 2017 saw cases swelling to 1,57,996 in which 253 people died.The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare told Parliament, “Dengue is spreading as its transmission is governed by many ecological factors. Also, unplanned developmental activities, improper water storage, population movement, improper solid waste management etc play crucial role in dengue upsurge.”
In order to implement the programmes under SBM-U, including construction of toilets and solid waste management, the government pumped in crores of rupees as Central assistance. A senior official said, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs monitors the progress of projects through a Management Information System platform on the Swachhbharaturban.in web portal, where urban local bodies update the progress of SBM-U.
The mission’s progress in cities and states is also reviewed through official visits and video conferences. Swachh Survekshan Survey also evaluates the cleanliness of cities. A Swachhata app for redressal of grievances was launched in August 2016 and on an average, 2,30,000 complaints per month are registered of which 2,10,000 are redressed. As per the health ministry, more than Rs 1,900 crore was released in the last four years under National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme.