Mumbai: Concerned over high female
infanticide rate in Maharashtra, the state government today
said it will install "silent observers" in sonography machines
to discourage sex determination tests.
"We would install silent observers in every sonography
machine across the state on the Kolhapur pattern to prevent
sex determination tests," state Public Health Minister Suresh
Shetty informed the Legislative Council.
A Collector from Kolhapur had installed "silent
observers" in every sonography machine to keep a check on the
number of sonographies performed and illegal abortions were
detected, he said.
Congress MLC Jayprakash Chhajed had raised the issue of
increasing cases of female infanticide and asked whether the
government was taking any measure to curb it.
Minister of State for Health Fauzia Khan assured the
House that squads would be deployed for surprise visits to the
sonography centres. The squad would visit the centres four
times a month and collect data from the "silent observers",
Maharashtra has 7,373 registered sonography centres and
the state government has taken action against 125 such centres
fining them Rs 15,000 each.
In the sex determination cases, one convicted is
imprisoned in Mumbai, while 15 more have been convicted in
Pune, Khan said.