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Fourth Dengue Death In Delhi; Breeding Checkers On Strike

New Delhi:The capital today reported a fresh dengue death and 75 new cases, taking the total number of patients to 1370, even as nearly half of MCD mosquito breeding checkers went on strike demanding regularisation
PTI September 06, 2010 21:17 IST
PTI
New Delhi:The capital today reported a fresh dengue death and 75 new cases, taking the total number of patients to 1370, even as nearly half of MCD mosquito breeding checkers went on strike demanding regularisation of jobs. The MCD again warned the domestic breeding checkers that those not returning to work may face termination of services.  

However, officials admit that this action may also lead to a temporary manpower crunch as the process of appointing new DBCs may take at least four to five days.  

"We can terminate the services of DBCs as they are contract workers. We are appealing to them not to stop work at such a time when city is facing a dengue outbreak. We can easily appoint new DBCs as we have a long waiting list of applicants," Leader of MCD House Subhash Arya said.  

Chairman of MCD Public Health Committee V K Monga said around 50 per cent of the 3200 DBCs have struck work. "We will wait for another day to allow them to return to work before taking a decision on terminating their services," he said. The city reported its fourth dengue death today while 75 more patients tested positive for the vector-borne disease.  

"Rakesh, a 25-year-old patient, died at the Safdarjung Hospital. He was staying near IGI airport," Monga said.  

The DBCs, who undertake door-to-door surveys to check mosquito breeding, have been demanding regularisation of jobs for long. In 2008 too, they had observed a 47-day strike on the same demand. The MCD, however, says it does not have the required funds at present to regularise them.  

Anti-Malaria Karamchari Sangh president Ashok Chaudhary said the DBCs will continue their strike and pointed out that several court rulings have come in favour of regularisation.  

The issue of rising number of dengue cases was discussed at a meeting of Municipal Corporation of Delhi where members cutting across party lines expressed concern over the issue. Arya accused the Delhi government of granting less funds for public health and said this was causing problem for MCD.  

Former Mayor and Congress councillor Farhad Suri dismissed it and said MCD diverted some money sanctioned by government under sanitation head for purchasing biometric system. Leader of Opposition J K Sharma alleged that officials were giving "false" report about the number of cases.

Suri also raised concern over blocking of Barapullah nullah due to the elevated road work there and said this was causing waterlogging in Nizamuddin area.  

MCD today also launched a week-long sanitation drive to control mosquito breeding in the city though residents in most areas said they did not see any change on the ground. PTI