Punjab Health Minister Brahm Mohindra on Monday said “careless approach” of some government departments was responsible for the outbreak of dengue in the state this year.

Mohindra, who chaired a state task force meeting on Monday, said the local government and rural development departments had failed to act, despite repeated calls by the health department, to check the dengue outbreak.

“The careless approach of most of government departments in not discharging their administrative duty for curbing the outbreak of dengue has resulted in the present situation,” Mohindra said.

“Every year, the health department is criticised for the outbreak. Everyone is oblivious of the fact that the local bodies and rural development departments are the key players in tackling the outbreak and other water-borne diseases,” Mohindra said.

He said the health department has tested nearly 22,000 samples for dengue this year free of cost.

“All the cases of dengue are being provided free treatment in government hospitals. The staff of the health department has visited around 15.5 lakh houses to check breeding of mosquito,” Mohindra pointed out.

He said it is the responsibility of local government department, which is headed by cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, to do fogging in vulnerable urban areas. The rural development department has to do the same in rural areas, the health minister said, expressing serious concern at the attitude of these departments.