Even after the temperature has come down,dengue patients continue to drop in. So much so that the number of cases reached 970 in Ludhiana district on Saturday with the confirmation of seven new dengue patients.
However,while the onus to ensure cleanliness and regular fogging lies with the health department and the Municipal Corporation,conditions remain poor in rural areas where,despite numerous complaints by the villagers,drains remain unclean and uncovered.
Like in the city,health officials at block level in rural areas have the power to issue challans to the defaulters who do not maintain cleanliness or from whose premises larvae are found on inspection.
Pritam Singh from Kalahar village near Ahmedgarh,Ludhiana district,said,We have made numerous complaints to panchayat to get drains cleaned but nothing is being done. Drains are filled with stagnant water and are uncovered,producing a foul smell throughout the day. Still,no action is being taken. What should villagers do if panchayat is not listening to people?
At Kalahar village,the sewerage water from eight lines is collected and passed through one channel only as parallel lines are blocked at different places. This system has never worked properly and due to stagnation of sewerage water,foul smell is there throughout the day,according to villager Simarjit.
He claims that villagers have no money to get drains covered and a written complaint regarding this has been made many times to the block officer but nothing has been done.
When contacted,Amrinder Pal Singh,block development and panchayat officer,Dehlon,said,It is not in my powers to direct health department but I can just intervene and forward the complaint to them. I cannot force them to do things if they are not doing their work properly.
Dr Renu,senior medical officer,Malot,under whose area the village falls,said,We are doing regular cleaning and fogging in the area but if there is some problem at Kalahar,we will work on it.