Raipur: The main opposition Congress staged a walkout in the Chhattisgarh Assembly on Wednesday over "poor" sanitation facilities and alleged the growing menace of jaundice in the state capital.
Raising the issue through a calling attention motion in the assembly, ruling BJP MLA Devjibhai Patel said that the Raipur Municipal Corporation (RMC) has failed to ensure proper cleanliness in the capital which has led to the spread of several diseases, particularly jaundice.
He claimed that so far 25 people have succumbed to jaundice during the last two months and around 5,000 people are affected by the disease.
Lakhs of rupees are being sanctioned in the name of cleaning overhead water tanks but no result has been witnessed yet, he alleged.
He said that RMC officials had dumped all responsibility to maintain cleanliness on Kivar, a company which was allotted the contract to maintain sanitation in the capital.
In his reply, Chhattisgarh Urban Administration and Development Minister Amar Agrawal said that the RMC had consistently made efforts to strengthen the capital's sanitation system.
"It is inappropriate to say that around 5,000 people have been affected by jaundice and 25 died due to the disease. Health camps were conducted for the examination of jaundice patients during which 328 people were detected positive. Two of them have died," he said.
He said that a fine of Rs 1.60 crore was imposed on the Kivar for negligence in ensuring services and the fine amount was deducted from payment which was due to the company.
The company's contract was also terminated for failing to comply with terms of the agreement, he said.However, unsatisfied with his reply, Patel said that as
many as four people died due to jaundice in his home constituency and claimed that more than 25 people died due to the disease.
He sought to know whether the minister would lodge an FIR against the RMC Commissioner for negligence, but this suggestion was rejected by the minister.
Later, Leader of Opposition in Chhattsgarh Assembly TS Singhdeo and senior Congress MLA Satyanarayan Sharma also alleged that the government had failed to ensure cleanliness in the capital city due to which people have been struggling with several diseases.
Later, minister Agrawal said that he would direct the city mayor and the RMC to take "appropriate action".
Disappointed with his reply, Congress members staged a walkout from the House.