Special Correspondent

`Desilt open drainage canals immediately'

COIMBATORE: Charges of shoddy removal of garbage across the city and the consequent health hazards rang out loud at the Coimbatore Corporation Council meeting on Monday. Cutting across party lines, councillors targeted health officials for garbage accumulating in the city and put a large share of the blame on the vacancies to sanitary workers' posts.

"There is no change in the situation, no development at all and garbage removal is still very poor," R. Devaraj (CPI) alleged.

Stating that the threat of dengue, chikungunya and a host of other diseases persisted, he called for measures to prevent an outbreak of any of these in the city. "We need to keep the whole city clean, with a great amount of attention on schools so that the children are not victims of poor hygiene," he said. Preventive measures should have been initiated immediately but none had taken off so far, he alleged. R. Chandrasekaran (CPI-M) called for desilting open drainage canals. It had begun to rain and clogged drains would only worsen the situation.

P.S. Selvarajan (DMK) complained that the mosquito repellent used by the Corporation was not of good quality. "The mosquitoes do not die, they only seem to faint. Otherwise, there should not be so many mosquitoes despite the fogging," he remarked.

R. Venkatachalam (Congress) said stray dogs struck terror among people. "There are so many of them on the streets that one gets the impression they are outnumbering human beings in the entire city." To this, City Health Officer N. Raghupathy said animal birth control measures were being carried out to ensure that the number of dogs did not increase. The members, however, were unhappy that only about 200 dogs underwent birth control surgeries though the programme began in March.