BNP has accused the mayors of two city corporations of Dhaka of failure in the dengue situation. In a press conference in Dhaka today, the leaders of the party said that the dengue situation has become an epidemic today due to the ‘neglect’ and ‘mismanagement’ of the mayors of two cities in Dhaka.
BNP leaders Tabith Awal and Ishrak Hossain said these things, blaming the two mayors of Dhaka North and South City, Atiqul Islam and Sheikh Fazle Noor Tapas, for the current dengue situation. These two BNP leaders were the mayoral candidates in the last two city corporation elections of Dhaka.
The two leaders of BNP spoke on behalf of their party in a press conference about the ‘grimness of the dengue situation’ at the BNP central office in Nayapaltan in the capital on Friday morning.
Four steps have been announced by BNP to deal with the dengue situation. These are firstly, the leaders and workers of BNP will donate blood themselves, encourage others to donate blood and they will create an online blood site with information about where to get blood.
Secondly, BNP will conduct campaigns to increase awareness about Aedes mosquito and dengue infection. Thirdly, they will identify the breeding sites of Aedes mosquitoes in government facilities. Fourthly, BNP leaders and workers will work together with local residents to kill Aedes mosquitoes in areas where there is waterlogging.
Tabith Awal was the mayoral candidate of BNP in the last election of Dhaka North City. He said, ‘Today we are standing in front of the dengue epidemic. The City Corporation was alerted in this regard. But no warning reached their ears. That is why we are in trouble with dengue.’
Accusing the city corporation of failure, Tabith Awal said, ‘They have taken some initiatives like a joke. They released fish and frogs in canals and lakes at various places. But a big source of Aedes mosquito is various government offices and establishments, no raids, no fines are being done in all those places. Two mayors are blaming the common people and putting the burden of fines on their heads.’
Pointing out that the number of infected and dead is much higher than the figures given by the Department of Health, Tabith Awal said that if the dengue situation worsens, it will not be possible to provide enough beds, medicine or treatment in the hospital.
Ishrak Hossain was the mayoral candidate of BNP in the last election of South City. He said that two city mayors are sitting on the chair of the city corporation by taking power without voting. Due to their failure, the dengue epidemic took shape. The country is going through its worst dengue situation in the last 24 years. This situation has happened due to the lack of accountability of the mayors.
Ishraq Hossain also said that the post of mayor is important, responsible and the post of city father. Currently, those who are sitting in this post, they do not even understand the importance of this post. Far from holding the role of the city father, he is running the city corporation with an autocratic attitude. Ignoring the opinion of experts, some people are making up their own minds. They fail to employ a sufficient number of entomologists in proportion to the size and population. They did not implement the advice given by the World Health Organization.
According to the written statement of the conference, the death rate of dengue this year has exceeded the previous years. In 2021, the death rate of dengue was 0.37 percent, in 2022 it was 0.45 percent. According to data till July 17 this year, the death rate stands at 0.55. Young people are dying more.
Apart from this, about 13,000 of the dengue patients are between 18 and 40 years of age.
In the press conference of BNP, Dhaka South City Mayor Sheikh Tapas was criticized for traveling abroad despite the dengue situation. The BNP leaders said that the mayors are threatening the city residents with fines to cover up their failure. Trees are being cut down in the name of unplanned urbanization and development. They also said that city dwellers are being encouraged to have roof gardens without any feasibility study. The citizens are being fined for calling that roof garden a mosquito factory. Mayors are portraying the city as the culprit to cover up their own eccentricities, failures and corruption.
The press conference was attended by various levels of BNP leaders including Dhaka Metropolitan North BNP convener Aman Ullah Aman, South BNP convener Abdus Salam, Metropolitan North BNP member secretary Aminul Haque and South BNP acting member secretary Tanveer Ahmed.