Former Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Wednesday asked the government to constitute a committee to find out the truth on cholera deaths in the city.
Speaking at a demonstration organised by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Mr. Stalin said “The government is not accepting the fact that there are cholera deaths. Is the government ready to constitute a committee with opposition party members and journalists to find out the truth on cholera?”
Mr. Stalin warned the Chennai Corporation that the agitation would be intensified if it fails to learn from its mistakes and solve people’s problems. “If the government fails to constitute such a committee we are ready to do so,” he added.
“There will always be civic issues. But the local administration has to be quick in reacting to them. When I was Mayor, I used to visit the affected areas to assess civic problems. When M. Subramanian was Mayor, a phone call was enough to bring him to the spot,” Mr. Stalin added.
He also charged Chief Minister Jayalalithaa with spending a lot of time in Kodanad while the city was struggling to cope with infectious diseases. “As the Chief Minister was scared of cholera in the city, she has opted to stay for a longer period in Kodanad,” said Mr.Stalin.
The demonstration brought traffic to a halt for a few minutes near Central Railway Station. The protestors displayed cans of contaminated drinking water from various parts of the city. Former Mayor M.Subramanian and actor Kushboo participated in the demonstration.
Mr. Stalin on Friday had warned of mass agitation against the Chennai Corporation if the officials failed to deal with the emerging challenges to public health.
Mr. Stalin blamed the Chennai Corporation of shirking responsibility. “When people complain about contaminated water, the Mayor says it is not its responsibility,” he said. “We would not have reacted in a similar manner,” Mr. Stalin added.
The public health scare pertaining to cholera intensified after a few persons died in areas such as Pullapuram, New Boopathy Nagar and Ossankulam near Chetpet a few days ago.