‘BMC is doing little to check dengue spread’

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 Congress workers from Kandivali and Malad protest at BMC’s P/North office on Tuesday. Congress workers from Kandivali and Malad protest at BMC’s P/North office on Tuesday.
SummaryCivic hospital in Malwani, where Tariq Jafri lived, is shambles.

Civic hospital in Malwani, where Tariq Jafri lived, is shambles

A few kilometres away from the MHADA colony in Malwani where Tariq Jafri (30) and his daughter Tasneem (4) — who succumbed to dengue a few days ago — lived, stands a BMC hospital that has been defunct for over five years. The Malwani Health Care Centre was shut down for repairs, which have yet not seen the light of the day. The road around it littered with garbage heaps, which build up as the days go by.

“Earlier, a majority of the patients from the area would go to the health centre due to its convenient location. However, it started deteriorating with lack of doctors and the interiors of the hospital crumbling. It had to be shut for renovation but that too has not begun,” said Arif Shaikh (55), a resident of Malwani.

For a population of over 2 lakh, Malwani has no decent health care facilities and people have to mostly opt for private clinics or the BMC-run Bhagwati Hospital in Borivali. Residents claim that prior to the two deaths, the BMC did little to curb dengue. Whatever measures were initiated by the civic body following the deaths are fizzling out, they said.

When corporator of Malwani, Cyril D’Souza wrote to the BMC last year regarding the the hospital, he was told to first ensure that the garbage and debris around it is cleared before further work on it is decided. D’Souza said he was determined to have the centre reopened and preliminary paperwork for it was in progress.

“I have written to the higher authorities of the BMC to make the centre into a 100-bed hospital. I have also asked them to ensure that there is a separate budget for it next year. As far as clearing the area is concerned, I supervise the garbage collection near the hospital every morning. However, people have to behave responsibly and should not dump garbage out on the streets,” he said.

Following the death of the Jafris, residents and corporators have been divided on the BMC’s efforts to curb the disease. On Tuesday, a mob shooed away BMC personnel who had come to fog the area, saying that they should have come before the deaths took place.

“This is how BMC works. It takes action only when there is external pressure to show that it is doing something. After a few days it will all

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