Mumbai: Builder, BMC inaction on mosquito breeding spot lands teen in hospital
Teen’s father, several other residents of Mahim society were asking builder, BMC and even cops to remove the breeding ground, but their pleas fell on deaf ears
Due to a glitch in the building’s drainage system, the septic tank has been overflowing on the ground floor and has now turned into a breeding ground for mosquitoes
If you think that the occurrence of dengue is most common in the slums, think again. An employee of a multi-national company bought a flat worth Rs 70 lakh in the posh Evershine Meadows in Mahim East six months ago. But due to the negligence of the builders and bureaucratic apathy of the BMC and police, his only son has fallen prey to dengue.
Amit Rao’s 16-year-old son Jayraj was admitted to the Raheja Hospital on Saturday after he complained of severe body pain and high fever. Blood reports on Sunday confirmed he has contracted dengue. Amit knew this was waiting to happen to someone or the other in his housing society.
Amit and a hundred other residents of the Evershine Meadows have had sewage problems for the past two months. Due to a faulty drainage system, dirty water from the septic tank keeps overflowing and getting accumulated on the ground floor.
These water patches have now turned into mosquito breeding grounds. Taking proactive action, the society approached the builder in October to solve the issue before anyone fell victim to dengue. But no one paid any heed. In November, they filed a complaint with BMC and police. Even then, no one came to help them.
“I filed complaints everywhere to stop the nuisance. But no one took any step. The floor gets filled with dirty water that sinks so much and due to regular accumulation it has turned into a mosquito breeding ground. Now, my son has fallen prey to dengue and I’d feared the same thing. I moved into the flat six months ago but never thought I’ll face such harassment at the hands of the authorities,” said Amit, adding, “I was fighting to prevent the society from contracting dengue but never imagined my son will fall prey to it.”
Approached cops too
Ejaz Naqvi, an advocate and resident of the society says they asked the police to intervene and take action against the builders, but nothing came of it. “For months we have been lodging complaints in various departments of the BMC, asking them to look into the matter but no one paid any heed. We also approached police at Shahu Nagar police station who could intervene into the matter under Sections 261 and 268 of the Indian Penal Code. Under the sections, the police can intercept anyone if they are found guilty of public nuisance that can cause injury or pose any danger. But nothing was done,” he said.
As per BMC rules, any person can complain to the authority if they find any mosquito breeding grounds in their residential area. After receiving a complaint, BMC generally sends their insecticide officer to check the area and conduct all required precautionary activities to curb the spread of dengue. But even after complaining several times to the health department, no one came to inspect the area.
“No officer came to inspect the breeding grounds despite complaints. No one spread bleaching powder or came for fogging. And because of them, my son is in the hospital,” said Amit.
When mid-day spoke to Ram Ludhani, chief promoter of the brand that constructed the building, he said, “I won’t be able to comment on it. I am sick so I need to rest.” Despite repeated tries, the building’s administrative director Robert, did not respond to several messages sent by mid-day.
Narshibhai Patel, responsible of the maintenance of the flats accepted that due to faulty sewage system, the water from the safety tank below the floor is coming out on the ground. “We are planning to revamp the sewage system and will uplift it with a better one, but we need to two more weeks to do so. We are working on it,” said Patel.
Despite repeated calls Dr Rajan Naringrekar, insecticide officer at BMC did not respond to the calls made by mid-day. Dr Padmaja Kesker, health officer of BMC asked to be contacted later, but calls to her went unanswered as well.
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