Amid growing concern over the dengue outbreak, Dhaka North City Corporation has placed utmost importance on curbing the mosquito menace in its 2019-20 fiscal budget by allocating Tk49.30 crore for carrying out control activities.
The money will be spent on eradicating mosquitos by monitoring mosquito breeding and buying pesticides.
This allocation increased by 182 percent from the past fiscal year’s corrected budget of Tk17.50 crore.
Atiqul Islam, mayor of Dhaka North, revealed this in a post-budget press conference at Nagar Bhaban on Thursday.
On July 17, Dhaka North approved a Tk3,057.24 crore budget in its board meeting. In the last fiscal year, the total budget was Tk2,567.45 crore.
Moreover, the corporation has also increased its allocation for buying mosquito control machinery to Tk10 crore. Last year, the allocation was Tk8 crore.
Dhaka North City Corporation is also planning to outsource services from the private sector in yet another move to curb the mosquito menace.
The mayor said his corporation wants to reduce the risk of city residents being affected by mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and chikungunya, which is why Dhaka North is outsourcing services.
Elaborating on the plan, the mayor said they will hand over responsibility of curbing the mosquito menace in a few wards of the city to some private organisations.
If the initiative works, the corporation might think about outsourcing the services for other wards as well, he said.
The mayor also stressed his commitment to giving equal importance to both affluent and underprivileged neighbourhoods.
Interestingly, waste management has been given notable priority in the budget.
Tk5 crore was allocated for the construction and maintenance of Secondary Transfer Stations (STS) – a whopping 900 percent rise from last year’s allocation of just Tk5 lakh for this purpose.
Additionally, Tk5 crore was allotted for buying trucks and motorcycles to provide more effective waste management services.
Replying to a query about cleaning canals, the mayor said that residents have to be more responsible about maintaining their surroundings.
“People throw almost all household waste, including mattresses, steel cabinets and dysfunctional TVs into the canals,” the mayor said.
On a separate note, the mayor also announced his plan to free pavements from illegal occupiers by carrying out massive drives from September 20.
The mayor also vowed to install LED lights in every area.
Replying to another query, the mayor said Dhaka North will open four of its parks in October. It will soon float tenders to renovate another eight out of 18 parks, and evict all illegal intruders from the parks.
Atiqul also said he was thinking about partnering up with private entities to maintain footbridges and other structures for public use.
Dhaka North Chief Executive Officer Abdul Hye, Chief Health Officer Brig Gen Mominur Rahman Mamun, and Chief Waste Management Officer Captain M Manzur Hossain, among others, were present at the press briefing.