Last year, to check female foeticide, the Pune Municipal Corporation constituted a special cell called the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) cell to look out for unlawful medical practices in the city. NCP MLA Anil Bhosale is now alleging that the Additional Commissioner shut down the cell in the second week without giving any reason. Bhosale raised a starred question demanding to know why the special cell established by the PMC to curb female foeticide was closed by Naresh Zurmure.
In response, officials claim that the cell was not closed but only restructured. During the recently conducted session of the legislature, Bhosale had wanted to know on what grounds the cell was closed and whether the PMC had taken any action against those who were responsible and was it going to take any action at all.
In a letter to the secretary of the Urban Development Department, he reiterated the same questions. He said he was expecting a response from the Commissioner today. Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak said, “The cell has not been closed, but only decentralised to make it more effective. It has been divided into four zones and more qualified doctors are deployed to carry out the work. In fact, more cases of illegal activities have been reported in the past one month, which itself proves that the cell is functional.”
Varsha Deshpande, a social activist, said, “The cell has been forced into being non-functional as no proper funds have been allocated to the cell by the PMC and this shows the callousness about the grave issue of female foeticide.” In response, Pathak said, “We have hired four doctors and arranged for vehicles to carry out the inspection. What more funds are required to run the cell?”