New Delhi: The health crisis in the city has prompted at least 12 high-security diplomatic missions to open their doors to municipal officials to check their premises for mosquito-breeding.
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) which has formed a task force to inspect various areas and spot mosquito-breeding, has also helped the embassies with fumigation in their premises.
As a precautionary measure, the civic body had written to embassies, requesting them to provide access to its staff for inspecting their premises.
“We had written to all embassies, foreign missions, chanceries and residences of ambassadors, requesting them to let our staff inspect their premises and check for mosquito-breeding. 12 of them have provided us access for inspection and remedial measures,” RN Singh, Chief Medical Officer of NDMC told PTI.
The missions which have got the inspection and fumigation done include Pakistan High Commission, Embassies of Nepal, Sri Lanka, Serbia, China, Bangladesh, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Ethopia.
The council staff inspects all buildings in NDMC areas every year to check mosquito-breeding.
Notices are issued in the first phase and the defaulters are asked to reply within a week about the measures taken by them to check it.
However, if in the second phase breeding is still found in their premises, NDMC issues challans to such violators. As foreign diplomatic missions are not bound by law to allow the officials to check breeding, NDMC does not have any authority to issue any challan or notice to them. It can only help them with remedial measures.
“We do not have the authority to issue any challan or notice to the embassies or foreign missions but once we detect such conditions, we send our staff to take all remedial measures there including fumigation and destruction of larvae,” Singh said.
NDMC areas are home to the high and mighty of the country, including Union ministers, parliamentarians, offices of all the ministries, Supreme Court, Delhi High Court and residences of Supreme Court judges, senior bureaucrats and senior military officers.
The diplomatic complex in Chanakyapuri is also in the NDMC area.
The civic body has so far issued notices to 4700 prominent buildings in NDMC areas including President’s Estate, RML Hospital, AIIMS, Paryavaran Bhawan, Meghdoot Bhawan, Sanchar Bhawan, Baroda House, Kashmir House and Shivaji Stadium, after vector-carrying mosquitoes were found breeding in their premises.
“A total of 278 challans have also been issued to various buildings when they failed to check the breeding even after they were issued notices,” the CMO said.
According to a municipal report, 18 people have died of dengue this year so far and the disease has affected over 1,100 people in the city.
Last year, the city saw a staggering 15,867 dengue cases, the worst in 20 years. The disease also claimed 60 lives. The diplomatic missions which had permitted NDMC to take dengue preventive and control measures in their premises last year included Singapore, Bhutan, Ethiopia, Ghana, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Mauritius.