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Public Health / Sanitation

This civic body does not practise what it preaches on public health

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The Hindu          09.01.2018  

This civic body does not practise what it preaches on public health

Water in an open overhead tank that has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes on the terrace of Dindigul Corporation lodge inside Kamarajar Central Bus Stand on Monday.PHOTO: G. Karthikeyan  

Tank in Dindigul Corporation Lodge is a breeding ground for mosquitoes

Even as the district administration has come up with preventive measures to control dengue and other contagious fevers, including severe action against residents who failed to follow guidelines set by the Corporation, the uncovered overhead tanks on the terrace of Dindigul Corporation lodge inside Kamarajar Central Bus Stand has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, thanks to ill-maintenance and stagnation of water.

Three other tanks on the terrace are not covered properly. The Corporation has been storing water in these open and partially covered tanks to maintain water supply to lodges and shops in the building.

With no proper maintenance for a long time, it has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The corporation sanitary workers neither clean the tank nor spray anti-mosquito repellents to prevent larvae breeding, alleged shopkeepers.

The Corporation health officials took stern action against residents who did not seal water containers in houses. They often slapped fine on owners of private and commercial buildings within the city limit when they found larvae in stagnated water in the tanks and containers. But no attempt was made to even clean the open overhead tanks in the bus stand and contain mosquito breeding, said S. Murugan, a vendor in the bus stand.

However, shopkeepers state that plastic tanks installed on the terrace are closed properly. Lids meant for cement tanks were either damaged or missing for a long time. No efforts were taken maintain them.

To worsen the situation, the Corporation garbage clearing workers have converted an open space between Karur and Tiruchi bus bays inside the bus stand into a temporary garbage dumping yard, polluting the surroundings and posing grave health threat to passengers. They collect the waste from the bus stand and roads around it and dump them at this spot. Fruit wastes and waste generated from eateries, hotels and tea shops too are being dumped at this spot.

Now the temporary garbage yard attracts stray dogs and pigs and become a breeding ground for flies and mosquitoes. Passengers waiting at these bays to go to Karur, Tiruchi and Palani have a tough time. Hygiene and clean surroundings are still a distant dream. The central bus stand was upgraded into A-grade bus stand last year.


Corporation to offer affordable healthcare

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The Hindu       26.12.2017

Corporation to offer affordable healthcare

Thanks to the ‘Smart Hospitals’ initiative

The ‘Smart Hospitals’ initiative of the Madurai Corporation will facilitate delivery of quality healthcare at its hospitals at affordable cost, said Commissioner S. Aneesh Sekhar on Monday.

The Commissioner told The Hindu he would strive to focus on hospitals falling under the ‘area-based development’ zone of the Smart City Mission.

There are currently three hospitals that have been shortlisted for the first phase of smart healthcare delivery.

They are primary health centres and maternity homes located in Baskaradas Nagar, East Veli Street and South Gate. The smart hospital project is set to improve the hospital capacity tracking facility, emergency management, fire detection and tele-health, according to an official of the health department of the corporation.

“Smart hospital aims at improving the user experience and providing infrastructure that matches or beats the private healthcare providers. Waiting areas will be cleaner and inpatient facilities will improve. Special attention will be given to the needs of staff and paramedics too,” said the Commissioner.

“Though the project does not immediately set out to increase the number of hospital beds, it looks to revamp the existing infrastructure. The initiative is currently in the ‘detailed project report’ stage and cost estimates will be available to the public after the reports are approved,” said Dr. Sekhar.

A total of Rs. 334 crore of Madurai’s Smart City Mission fund has gone into heritage conservation and open spaces enhancement. About Rs. 300 crore has been pumped into improving basic infrastructure such as water, sewage and roads.

This initiative would encourage citizens to approach government organisations for healthcare, said the Commissioner.


‘Swachh Ambassador’ to bat for clean streets

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The Hindu        14.12.2017  

‘Swachh Ambassador’ to bat for clean streets

A lot of work needs to be done, say residents

A survey to evaluate the cleanliness of the city will be held from January 4 to March 4 in view of Swachh Survekshan 2018. The city will be competing with 4,000 others in the country to secure a ranking based on community health and hygiene.

In 2017, Madurai secured a rank of 57 out of 400 cities.

Cleanliness will get 4,000 marks based on services provided. The report will include construction of toilets, clean roads, waste segregation and compost units. It will be submitted to representatives of Swachh Bharat Mission, who, in turn, will visit the city for direct observation.

An important component of the survey is feedback from citizens. They will be called through automated recorded phone calls.

Their use of the ‘Swachhata’ app - a redressal mechanism to inform the corporation about inadequacies in the area - will be ascertained.

Corporation Commissioner S. Aneesh Sekhar said the city would have a ‘Swachh Ambassador,’ a popular personality who will advocate the need for clean streets, waste segregation and an open-defecation free space. The corporation will host a happy street programme to create awareness. Tentatively, a marathon has been planned.

Stating that the corporation would focus on improving solid waste management in the city, he said that those shops that did not follow segregation methods would be fined.

A Health Department official stated that a very few has downloaded the Swachhata app. Only five to 10 complaints are registered on the app but the WhatsApp helpline gets at least 300 complaints a day. But the complaints on the helpline are not counted as part of the assessment.

Residents in the newly added areas say that door-to-door garbage collection is not done regularly. K. Soundari, who lives in Muthusamy Street (ward 63-Villapuram), says that it is quite common to find garbage in every nook and corner of roadside. Community toilets do not function.

“People defecate in the open because there are no bathrooms. A lot of work needs to be done before the city is declared open defecation free,” she says.

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