Kolkata: Dengue cases have seen a sharp rise this monsoon in Kolkata and surrounding areas prompting Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to intervene in the matter after residents accused the municipal authorities of being slack and not doing enough to prevent spread of the disease.
Since August 7, authorities in Kolkata have recorded 112 new cases of dengue, and over 13 deaths have been attributed to the killer infection. While last year over 6000 cases of dengue were recorded in Kolkata alone, this year the number of those infected with Dengue has already crossed 1500.
Experts say instances of dengue usually go up between August and November, when Kolkata sees high rainfall. Water collects in stagnant pools all over the city, making an ideal breeding ground for mosquitos. The only way to contain the spread of dengue during these months is through constant spraying of mosquito repellants. But according to Kolkata residents, the municipal authorities responsible for containing the spread of dengue have been caught napping.
The Chief Minister had sought to reassure worried citizens last Tuesday after she held a high-level meeting with the responsible authorities. But since, little seems to have changed on the ground. Stagnant pools of water remain, and municipal authorities have failed to calm resident's fears.
On Sunday, 10-year-old Disha Das, a Kolkata resident, died at a hospital after suffering from dengue. Her relatives blame the municipal authorities.
Disha's Aunt Pinki Das told NDTV, "There is a lot of water logging here. We have complained many times but no one comes to spray mosquito repellant here. I don't know why they don't come."
A high incidence of dengue in Kolkata for the third year running has exposed the Trinamool government's promise of keeping its citizens safe and healthy.