With the Assembly elections round the corner, blood banks in north Bengal have started to run dry.

Authorities today said the upcoming elections are to blame for the situation as no blood donation camp has been held after the model code of conduct (MCC) came into force last month. No political party can organise such camps using the party’s name during the time the MCC is in place.

There is almost no stock of positive and negative blood groups at the Regional Blood Transfusion Centre (RBTC) at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH), it is learnt.

“The situation in blood banks is very grim, because no blood donation camp of political parties can be held now. We are concerned about the situation and are struggling to cope with the crisis,” said RBTC director Dr Mridumay Das.

According to the Election Commission of India guidelines, no political party can organise blood donation camps when the MCC is in place. Blood banks get maximum units of blood through voluntary collection.

There are 19 government blood banks in north Bengal under the RBTC, and officials said the situation there too was more or less the same.

According to RBTC officials, around 80 units of blood are supplied from the RBTC to different health facilities, and the daily requirement of the NBMCH alone is around 60-70 units. Sources at the RBTC said around 500 units of stock with at least 25 units of each positive group is an ideal stock.

There has been almost no stock of A+, A-, B-, AB+, AB-, O+, O- blood groups at the RBTC.

“Blood collection dips during summers, but the problem has been compounded by the elections. This problem occurs during every election. Under these circumstances, it is mandatory for relatives of patients to get hold of a donor if they want blood for their patients so as to replenish the stock. However, patients who suffer from diseases like thalassemia get blood without the donor, so this is also gradually reducing the blood unit stock,” said an official.