Kolkata Municipal Corporation will impose a hefty amount of fine if it finds mosquito breeding grounds inside the complex of housing projects under construction in different parts of the city.
The state government brought out the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2018 today in a move to prevent and control dengue outbreak that had ravaged West Bengal affecting around 35,000 people and claiming 45 lives last year.
The new Bill will administer a ‘strong dose of drugs’ among people involved in violating guidelines to prevent breeding of mosquitoes in different parts of the city.
The municipal affairs and urban development minister Firhad Hakim while addressing in the state legislative Assembly today said, “This Bill will make people aware of the mosquito-borne disease in the city.
People will be conscious enough by not storing stagnant water in buckets, flower tubs or any vacant space for days to prevent dengue or malaria.
Stagnant water lying in an open container or space for few days prompts to breed mosquito larvae.” As per the Bill, the Kolkata civic body will charge minimum Rs 1000 to maximum Rs 10,0000 if larvae are found in stagnant water lying in any open space or reservoir at the sites of housing projects under constructions.
Apart from the housing projects’ sites, owner of a residential house will also be charged minimum Rs 1000 to maximum Rs 5000 if the civic body’s health workers find larvae in water lying stored in buckets, flower tubs etc during their on the- spot visit to the house.
“We are against imposing such huge amount on people for violating the rules mentioned in the Bill. But we want to make people aware of the vector-borne diseases by increasing the amount of the fine.
Three notices will be served first one after another to the person (promoter or owner of any house of establishment) if he or she is found storing stagnant water for days helping breed larvae,” the minister said adding the same amount of fine will also be applicable to other municipal areas in the state.
The Oppositions CPI-M and Congress MLA Mr Runu Dutta and Mr Apurba Sarkar criticised the government for its failure to take proper preventive measures to combat dengue outbreak in the state last year.
“Kolkata civic body is getting more and more dependent on its officials virtually keeping idle the local elected representatives in the corporation to prevent dengue.
The government by bringing the new Bill will encourage a kind of extortion by imposing hefty amount of fine on people,” Mr Dutta alleged.
“I support the Bill but the government should strengthen the monitoring system to prevent dengue or malaria in the state.
Only bringing a Bill and increasing budget allocations can’t prevent the disease,” Mr Sarkar said.