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To fight dengue and chikungunya, Delhi govt releases Rs 109 cr to MCDs

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government has released Rs 109 crore to all three municipal corporations here for dealing with vector borne diseases, such as dengue and chikungunya, in the ongoing monsoon season. According to the government, the funds have been released following the direction of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to the urban development department.

Kejriwal directed the department to tell the BJP-led three municipal corporations –south, north and east –that there should be no excuse in dealing with dengue and chikungunya.

In a statement, the government said Kejriwal directed the department to take all necessary steps to ensure proper utilisation of funds so that preventive steps, like house-to-house visits of MCDs staff to check spread of mosquitoes, are carried out. In a statement released to media, the Chief Minister's Office claimed the amount would be shared between the three MCDs with North MCD getting Rs 57.15 crore, East MCD Rs 28.40 crore and the South MCD Rs 23.57 crore to tackle the diseases.

In the past, the AAP government and the BJP-led municipal corporations have been at loggerheads on a range of issues, including strike of sanitation workers due to lack of funds. Apart from this, under the education head, the government has released around Rs 46.75 crore to East, North and South MCDs. North Delhi Municipal Corporation and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) have got Rs 12.5 crore and Rs 22.5 crore respectively while the SDMC has been given Rs 11.75 crore under same head.

Kejriwal asked the department to tell the MCDs that "maintenance of public health is their mandatory function as defined in the Delhi Municipal Corporations (DMC) Act," and when enough fund was being provided ahead of time there should now be no excuse in effectively dealing with the diseases. The Chief Minister said the fund shortage should not be an excuse for lack of preparation for prevention of vector-borne diseases in Delhi.

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