Funds go up in smoke, MCD gets Rs 35 crore for fogging
From the Times of India –TNN, Oct 26, 2010, 12.53am ISTNEW DELHI: If dengue and malaria have come back with a vengeance, you can blame the Commonwealth Games for it. Having ensured a relatively dengue-free Games — there was only one case from the Games Village — MCD, it seems now wants Delhiites to pay the price for it.
According to health minister Kiran Walia, the civic agency has told the government that after the intensive fogging in and around the Games Village before and during the Commonwealth Games, it has no resources left to do fogging for the rest of the year. There has been no fogging since the end of the Games. The situation has come to such a pass that in an emergency meeting on Monday, the state government had to sanction an additional Rs 35 crore for fogging purposes to the civic agency.
MCD originally had a budget of Rs 11 crore for fogging and later the Delhi government gave it an extra grant of Rs 22 crore for the purpose of intensifying the exercise around the Village and Games venues. This was in addition to the Rs 5 crore the MCD had from last year that was given to it for the Games. “I personally supervised fogging then so as to prevent any national embarrassment but now they have said that they have run out of kerosene, etc, and the money. That is a cause for great concern and I am trying to see if there can be some extra money sanctioned for this purpose,” health minister Kiran Walia said.
MCD had been doing fogging twice a day in the Games Village, she added. “We had covered a radius of 1-1.5km around the Village too so that there was no scope for breeding at all,” said the minister. Areas like Pandavnagar and Shakkarpur had seen the kind of presence of MCD fogging staff as it had never ever seen.
MCD sources say the “on-demand” fogging during the Games was a drain on resources but had been done because it was a “unique situation”. “But it is not possible to sustain that kind of tempo for that long a time without impacting our overall means. That is exactly what has happened now,” said a MCD official.
Finance minister A K Walia said, “I was told that the medicine that they are using now for fogging is three times more expensive than the earlier one. Moreover, the Games have been a drain, so we have sanctioned additional money and we have asked them to resume fogging as soon as possible.”