Opposition demands action as waste-caused fever grips Kerala

June 11th, 2012 - 3:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, June 11 (IANS) The Opposition walked out of the state assembly here Monday, alleging the state government’s inaction on tackling diverse diseases like dengue, H1N1, malaria and jaundice across the state, caused by undisposed waste.

Seeking leave for an adjournment motion, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) legislator V. Sivankutty lashed out at the government for what he called its failure to tackle the waste-caused “fever” that has spread across the state.

“A million people have been down with fever. Some 11 people have died and the state government remains unmoved. This figure is only from the state-run hospitals. If one takes into account the people who are admitted to private hospitals, the figure would be mind boggling,” said Sivankutty.

The state-owned Thiruvananthapuram Medical College here has been flooded with people affected with fever. Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar made a visit to the hospital Sunday evening.

“We have given orders to open a new ward exclusively for fever patients to tackle this. A specialist team of doctors has been set up besides forming a surveillance team. Three mobile fever clinics will be reaching out to the people at their door step,” said Sivakumar.

The state has been struck by a raging wave of diseases, including dengue, H1N1, malaria, yellow fever besides jaundice. The root cause has been identified as the acculumlated waste that is not disposed of properly.

“The state government has set in motion all the necessary requirement. We have sanctioned Rs.25,000 for every ward in each local body to ensure clean surroundings. Talks have begun to set up six waste processing plants across the state besides smaller plants at other locations,” said Minister for Corporations and Municipalities M. Ali.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the house that there have been practical problems as no legislator has set up a waste treatment plant in their constituency.

“This is understandable because so far there have been no successful waste treatment plants. Now we have zeroed down on the latest technology and we will see that it is set up. We have lost lot of time discussing what can be done,” said Chandy.

Before leading the walkout out of the assembly, Leader of Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan asked Chandy to initiate a vigilance inquiry on the amount of money being spent on waste disposal.

“Initiating a vigilance inquiry for anything and everything is your pet way of dealing with issues. Why don’t you announce one such inquiry into the money being spent?” asked Achuthanandan.

“Fever is raging across the state. It’s now become a habit for you to say one thing and when it comes to action, nothing happens,” Achuthanandan told Chandy.

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