DENGUE, CHIKUNGUNYA SCARE – Spurt in cases in certain areas keeps docs on their toes

The total number of patients with dengue has reached 1,120 in the state, while there is a 30 per cent rise in chikungunya cases, says the state health dept
Monsoon has yet again brought with it a plethora of two vector-borne diseases -dengue and chikungunya the state health department has con firmed.In just the beginning of the most-awaited season, the outbreak of both the diseases has been reported in peripheries and other areas within the city.

The state has registered as many as 1,120 dengue cases in the past six months and witnessing 30 per cent rise in just one month. Further, chikungunya cases, too, have increased more than 30 per cent in the state.

With the spurt in cases, experts in infectious diseases and the hospital infection control committee have raised concerns. Dr Rajesh Gadia, head of the dengue control team at KEM Hospital, Pune, and an expert in infectious diseases, informed, “In the past two weeks, we have observed that admission to the out-patient department (OPD) has gone up by 30 per cent in both the diseases. People are getting admitted in worst conditions. And, I fear that this is just the beginning; we are in fact expecting a rise in the number of cases towards the end of this month.“

Dr Ramesh Ranka, director of Ranka Hospital, too, shared similar opinion on the worrying situation. Ranka said, “I have witnessed a sudden increase in the number of patients here. More than 10 cases of chikungunya in just five days and three admissions of dengue in a week have already been reported to us. Our OPD is filled with patients showing symptoms of dengue and chikungunya.We have quickly alerted the government as well so that no breeding spot is missed out during fumigation drives.“

Dr Avinash Bhondwe, senior vice-president of the Indian Medical Association, added, “This is only the beginning of the rainy season and the number of patients in OPDs has only been increasing. We all are prepared to see more of this but if the concerned departments of the government’s vector-borne body think on its feet and find safety measures, the situation can be brought under control.“

One of the officials from the state health de partment also confirmed the outbreak of dengue and chikungunya and said, “Since January, this year, we have registered more than 1,120 cases of dengue in the state. Plus, 300 chikungunya cases are registered only in Pune district out of which majority of patients hail from Uttam Nagar. There has been an overall 30 per cent spurt in the cases of both the diseases across the state.“

Meanwhile, when contacted, state health department’s vector-borne diseases’ head and joint director Dr Kanchan Jagtap said the situation is not that severe. “There is an outbreak of both the infections but it is not that severe. Severity has been reported from only areas like Shirur, Charholi, Alandi and Uttam Nagar. And, within the city, it is from peth areas and Kondhwa. Mainly the cases are being reported from residents who live near construction sites or have filthy surroundings. We have already asked our Pune team to spot breeding areas and continue fogging so that the number of patients reduces,“ Jagtap shared.

MYSTERY VIRUS CONFUSES DOCS

A few doctors have claimed that there is a rise in cases of a mystery virus which shows symptoms of dengue and chikungunya but tests negative for both the diseases.

Dr Gadia said, “We have as many as 10 such cases reported here. Usually chikungunya symp toms stay with the patient for a good three to six months, like joint pain, etc. But, in such cases, the patient comes with joint pains which last only for ten days. This is weird and we have never come across such a presentation before. It needs to be studied and the government authorities, too, have been notified about the same.“

Source : Mirror

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GREEN COURT RULES – NGT pulls up civic body over garbage disposal

This was after the Maharashtra Pollution Control Bo ard (MPCB) filed an affidavit, along with a report on the inspection of landfill sites, citing non-compliance of the municipal solid waste (MSW) rules, resulting in unscientific management of garbage at the two sites. The MPCB had carri ed out the inspec tion to find out the actual position vis-à-vis compliance of MSW rules and improvement in measures taken by the PMC. The bench was hearing an application filed by Bhagwan Bhadale and other residents of Uruli Devachi and Phursungi against disposal of garbage at the landfill sites and the impact of the same on the health of villagers. At the last hea ring, the tribunal had asked the PMC to furnish an action plan detailing how it intended to comply with the MSW rules.

During the post-lunch session on Tuesday , PMC’s deputy commissioner (municipal solid waste) Kishori Gadre submitted an affidavit detailing the corporation’s efforts to secure scientific processing and management of garbage.

However, the bench appeared unwilling to rely on the PMC’s averments, while citing the latter’s track record vis-a vis garbage disposal and management. It asked the civic administration why it was so far unable to secure scientific management of garbage at the landfill sites and what alternatives were available for the two sites and what efforts were being made to take possession of such alternative sites.

The PMC lawyer submitted that the government has given consent for three sites of 25 hectare each at Tulapur Vadhu, Pimpri Sandas and Shindewadi for setting up new gar bage depots and the PMC has already deposited the money with the district collector’s office for acquiring the plots.The bench wondered why these lands were not acquired so far.

The NGT bench has summoned Pune district collector or his lawyer for the hearing on Wednesday , to clarify on the position relating to the three sites, whether money has been paid and what is the progress regarding acquisition of these sites.
Source : TOI

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GARBAGE DUMPING – Don’t pass false info to media: NGT to PMC

The order comes after residents of Uruli Devachi and Phursungi had raised objections against the misleading press release issued by PMC, following an NGT order on October 5. PMC had falsely mentioned that NGT ordered the dumping of garbage at the village and provision of police protection, apprehending protests by villagers.

While hearing the matter, Justice V R Kingaonkar and Dr Ajay Deshpande said there was no need for police protection for garbage vehicles unless a law and order situation arises. It also reminded officials that in its preceding orders, the bench stated that the material to be carried to the dumping site has to abide by the Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules Act, 2000.

The bench also directed the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to submit a report a day before the matter related to the process of monitoring, currently under way, is heard. It observed that the MPCB has a clear mandate about dumping at the site for scientific land-filling. It added that the new plot of land for dumping must be acquired under the emergency clause of the Land Acquisition Act.

It also asked PMC to locate an open land and said it may ask PCMC for the same. It also directed the MPCB to be careful while selecting and monitoring the site. Meanwhile, the PMC advocate submitted that the civic body did not pass on wrong information to the media. However, the judges denied the claim. The final hearing has been scheduled on October 26.

The application claimed that the incorrect information might make away for miscarriage of justice. In its reply, the NGT said it had kept the matter “high on board“.
Source : Mirror

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GARBAGE MATTERS – HC may ask PMC to stop issuing permit to raise buildings

Following the submission of a petition against the PMC on the garbage issue by a city-based NGO, the HC directed the civic body to submit its say on what measures it would be taking to solve the issue by Wednesday.

In April, the HC had asked the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) to stop issuing building permission for residential and commercial constructions till the KDMC solves its garbage problem. The order was passed by justices N H Patil and V L Achaliya, also part of the bench which heard the civil application filed by Nagrik Chetna Manch (NCM) on Monday.

The judges pointed out that with the increase in buildings and population, the garbage problem would only get worse. The HC may ask PMC to cease all such construction, sources, who were present at the hearing, said. Justices Abhay Oak and Achaliya gave PMC a two-day deadline to file its affidavit. Speaking to Mirror, Abhijit Kulkarni, who is representing PMC in the high court, said, “The HC asked PMC to submit an affidavit about the implementation of Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules (MSWMR), 2000. It also asked the civic body to submit what it has done about the 2013 order to implement the MSWMR and closure of dumping sites within city limits.“

SCN Jathar, founder of NCM, said in its application, the NGO pointed out that while the PMC pays private companies to segregate garbage, it is not doing anything about it . It’s a waste of public money as it is the PMC’s duty. On the other side, the civic body has been penalising those, who have not been following solid waste management rules.“

Pune generates about 1,500-1,600 tonnes of garbage every day. PMC’s 163-acre dump yard at Urali Devachi has been unused since June 2010.However, the civic body has been carrying out scientific land filling at the Urali Devachi garbage depot. It has also processed garbage using six different techniques. The garbage problem has peaked ever since the processing plant at Hanjar shut down last year.
Source : Mirror

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छत्रपती शिवाजी मार्केटला वेढले अतिक्रमण, दुर्गंधी आणि वाहतूक कोंडीने

पुणे – उघड्या अवस्थेतील गटारे, ओसंडून वाहणाऱ्या कचराकुंडीत टाकले जाणारे खराब मांस व भाजीपाला, रस्त्यावरच अस्ताव्यस्त थांबलेले ट्रक आणि स्टॉलधारकांच्या अतिक्रमणाने पुणे कॅंटोन्मेंटमधील छत्रपती शिवाजी मार्केट वेढले आहे. परिसरातील दुर्गंधी आणि कचराकुंड्यांभोवती घिरट्या घालणाऱ्या पक्ष्यांकडून होणाऱ्या हल्ल्यांमुळे स्थानिक नागरिक त्रस्त झाले आहेत.

बहुपर्यायी बाजारपेठ म्हणून शिवाजी मार्केटची ओळख आहे. विशेषतः चिकन, मटण व माशांच्या विक्रीसाठी प्रसिद्ध. शहराच्या विविध भागांतील लोक मांस खरेदीसाठी या ठिकाणी येतात. मात्र, सततची वाहतूक कोंडी, नासलेली फळं, भाजीपाला, चिकन, मटण, माशांच्या खराब अवशेषांमुळे दुर्गंधी पसरली आहे. यामुळे स्थानिक रहिवासी, व्यापारी, विद्यार्थी आणि प्रार्थनास्थळांमध्ये येणाऱ्या भाविकांचे आरोग्य धोक्‍यात आले आहे. प्रशासनाने त्याकडे गांभीर्याने पाहावे, अशी मागणी स्थानिक करत आहेत. मार्केटच्या अंतर्गत भागातील गटारे खुली असून, त्याभोवतीच पिण्याच्या पाण्याचे नळ आहेत. अंतर्गत भागात स्वच्छता ठेवली जात असली तरी बाह्य दुर्गंधीमुळे ग्राहक व विक्रेते त्रस्त झाले आहेत. फळ व भाजीपाला बाजारातील अतिक्रमणही वाढले आहे. बांगड्यांसह विविध प्रकारच्या वस्तू विक्रेत्यांनी रस्त्यावरच मांडल्या आहेत. काही विक्रेत्यांनी तर मूळ व्यवसायाऐवजी अन्य व्यवसाय थाटल्याचे नागरिकांचे म्हणणे आहे.

वारसा जपण्यासाठी प्रयत्न हवेत 
ब्रिटिश अधिकारी लेफ्टनंट जनरल जान रॉस यांच्या कारकिर्दीत 1885 मध्ये सव्वा लाख रुपये खर्च करून ही वास्तू उभारली गेली. व्यवसायाची परंपरा एका पिढीकडून दुसऱ्या पिढीकडे वर्षानुवर्षे हस्तांतर होत आहे. त्यामुळे विक्रेत्यांची या वास्तूशी नाळ जुळली आहे. ऐतिहासिक वास्तू म्हणून प्रसिद्ध असलेल्या या वास्तूचे जतन करण्याच्या दृष्टीने उपाययोजना करणे आवश्‍यक आहे.

स्त्रोत : सकाळ

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It’s all smoke, no hygiene for Pune

Pollution levels in the city are rising to alarming levels over the past four months, with no possible solutions coming up for the issue of burning garbage. So dire is the situation, that levels are now hovering only a tad below New Delhi.

While the World Health Organisation (WHO) pegs the average level of particulate matter 2.5 (PM 2.5) in Delhi air at 153 mg per cubic metre, Pune is currently clocking 110 mg per cubic metre. This has been especially the case at Hadapsar, which is close to the garbage dump. The acceptable levels of PM2.5 according to WHO standards are 35. According to Indian standards, it stands at 60.

Particulate matter is the amount of suspended solid particles in the air and pollution is usually measured in terms of PM2.5 and 10 where 2.5 and 10 refer to the size of the particle. The smaller the particle, the more harmful it is since the nose cannot filter them and it goes right to the lungs.

Pollution in Pune has gone up by 30 to 40 per cent as compared to readings last year, according to data obtained from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM).

“This is the first time ever that such a drastic increase has been observed. We feel all the garbage burning happening in the city could be the cause. If this is stopped, levels are sure to drop,” said Dr Gufran Beig, programme director, System of Air quality Forcasting and Research (SAFAR) from IITM.

Analysis shows that areas such as Bhosari and Manjari are the worst affected. Incidentally, both these areas have garbage depots nearby. At Bhosari, the level of pollution has almost doubled since last year. “Both these areas were considered relatively less polluted. It was places like Shivajinagar that always had high levels of pollution,” Beig added. Lohegaon, too, has recorded higher levels this year.

The increased pollution has brought with it a set of health ailments. While people suffering from asthma are already troubled, those otherwise in good health are also facing discomfort. Children are the worst affected.

“Respiratory problems among children have increased. Ailments such as allergic bronchitis are on the rise. They develop a prolonged cough, which causes their immunity to lower and secondary infections to develop. Moreover, it is also affecting nutrition, which again affects their resistance,” said Dr Anil Pansea, a specialist in community medicine in the city. He is seeing almost 20 to 30 per cent of patients in this category.

Dr Monica Barne from the Chest Research Foundation said increased pollution is affecting pregnant women, too. “Pollution has an adverse effect on the foetus and the child is pre-disposed to hyper reactive airways in the future. Moreover, earlier, research had shown that the lung capacity of Indians is 20 per cent lesser than Caucasians. This situation changed subsequently and in 2010, the capacity reduction was pegged at 35 per cent. This, too, is because of pollution,” Barne added.

While respiratory infections are already known as direct effects of increasing pollution, elements such as lead and other fumes also affect the body. “Once inhaled, these fumes are absorbed into the blood stream. Immediate effects are fatigue and drowsiness, but long-term exposure can have adverse effects on vital organs such as liver, brain, kidneys etc,” said Dr Avinash Bhondwe, former president of the Indian Medical Association and General Practitioners Association.

Source: Punemirror

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PMC sets up Helpline to Tackle Fruit Flies Menace

Civic health department begins spraying and fogging regularly The civic administration has taken the nuisance of fruit flies seriously and started a special helpline for complaints. On Wednesday, Mirror published an article about fruit flies and the nuisance they are causing.

Following that, S T Pardeshi, acting chief medical officer, PMC, appealed to people to record complaints on the helpline number (020-25508474). “The helpline will be open between 10 am and 5.45 pm. Besides, the health department has started spraying and fogging on a daily basis. The, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has also written a letter to the state government’s health department for appropriate advice to control the issue,“ he said.

Meanwhile, assistant medical officer Narendra Thakur said, “The garbage dumps across the city have given rise to this problem and on Thursday, a meeting of all sanitary inspectors has been called.“

Source: Punemirror, 27’March

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