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‘Mumbai could see spurt in diarrhoea, malaria cases’

There could be a spurt in deaths due to diarrhoea, malaria and dengue in Mumbai in the next three years, if amends are not made.

Praja Foundation, a Mumbai-based NGO, on Tuesday predicted a substantial rise in diarrhoeal deaths due to water complaints in the next three years in certain areas of suburban Mumbai. In a report, it suggested that due to poor pest control, deaths due to malaria and dengue will rise in the surrounding areas by 2017.

According to the report, civic issues reaching breaking point will largely affect Kandivli, Malad, Jogeshwari, Andheri and Vile Parle.

The annual report on Working of Ward Committees in the city of Mumbai was based on complaints and civic problems registered by citizens.

In the last three years, complaints on roads have consistently been the highest, followed by drainage problems.

Slow grievance addressalPointing out a slow grievance addressal mechanism, the report, which analysed the time taken by municipal councillors to attend to the registered complaints, said in 2014, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) took an average of 17 days to resolve a complaint.

The figure is stark in comparison to the three days committed in the Citizens’ Charter, an initiative between the government and citizens to provide information about public utility services and departments of the MCGM.

Milind Mhaske, Project Director at Praja said: “Only 35 per cent of the 66,747 civic complaints in 2014 have been closed by MGCM and the rest have not even been addressed. Non-redressal of civic issues is hazardous to the life and health of Mumbaikars.”

Nitai Mehta, Founder of Praja, said: “Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis recently initiated a project for Mumbai to become an International Financial Centre to attract global investments, jobs and development. How can we achieve this status when basic civic needs of citizens are being neglected time and again?”

He also added that the elected representatives need to be pressurised to raise the issues and resolve them.
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