Mumbai: Uproar in BMC over use of low-quality fumigation oil

After mid-day reported on the civic body’s use of inferior quality of oil for fumigation, the Congress has blamed the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena combine for the mess

Close on the heels of this paper’s revelation that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is using low-quality oil for fumigation that has been banned in two cities, the matter has now assumed political colours. The opposition party, Congress, is aiming to take the ruling Shiv Sena-BJP combine to task for the mess.

Congress group leader in the BMC, Devendra Amberkar, said that if the oil had been as per standards, the spread of dengue could have been controlled. File pic for representation
Congress group leader in the BMC, Devendra Amberkar, said that if the oil had been as per standards, the spread of dengue could have been controlled. File pic for representation

mid-day had reported on November 8 that the BMC had procured insecticide (pyrethrum extract 2%) for fumigation from a company, Nitapol Industries, that had been banned by civic bodies in Pune and Surat. The Rs 26-crore contract was awarded in April 2013, and the product meant to prevent breeding of mosquitoes and control dengue had failed the BMC’s quality tests in June the same year, for which the civic body had fined Nitapol Rs 65 lakh.

mid-day’s November 8 report on the issue
mid-day’s November 8 report on the issue

Nitapol doesn’t even have a licence to manufacture the compound from the Central government, nor does it have a permit to sell the solution. The political blame game has now begun in the civic body over the matter. Congress group leader in the BMC, Devendra Amberkar, has alleged that, along with officers from the administration, the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance is also responsible for this mess.

“The civic body has purchased the fumigation oil from a company which was failed quality tests. This is a very serious issue and along with BMC officials, the ruling party is equally responsible for the whole situation. They passed this proposal earlier and only now realised about the low quality,” said Amberkar.

He added, “Due to their apathy, the citizens of Mumbai are suffering and cases of dengue are on rise. If the oil had been as per standards, we could’ve controlled the spread of dengue.” Dismissing these allegations, Manoj Kotak, BJP’s group leader, said, “I think the opposition leader didn’t check the facts before commenting. The proposal was passed and the quality test was then conducted on the oil.

How can we know about its quality without checking? Dengue cases are increasing even after fumigation has been done extensively. As a citizen, I tried to find out about the chemical and came to know of its poor quality. I was the first to raise the issue.”

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