The mayor also said the city corporation has taken up a five year plan to prevent diseases like dengue and chikungunya by eliminating mosquitoes
The Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) has announced a budget of Tk3,631.40 crore for fiscal year 2019-2020, giving greater importance to mosquito control in areas under its jurisdiction.
DSCC Mayor Mohammad Sayeed Khokon unveiled the fifth and his last budget this term, at the Mayor Mohammad Hanif conference room of Nagar Bhaban in the capital, on Sunday.
Khokon said the corporation has a target of generating Tk972.80 crore from its own sources and is expecting to get Tk125 crore from development funds of the government, Tk2323.93 crore from foreign aid, and Tk209.67 crore from other sources.
The budget unveiled yesterday is Tk32.65 crore higher than the budget of Tk3,598.75 crore for fiscal year 2018-19.
As per the DSCC budget plan unveiled, Tk350 crore will be spent for salaries and other employee benefits, Tk79 crore for energy, water, gas, and electricity, Tk33.35 crore for development and maintenance of physical structures, Tk43.30 crore for controlling the mosquito menace, Tk7 crore for rent and taxes, and Tk33.17 crore for supplies.
Responding to queries from journalists, DSCC mayor Khokon said dengue in the city is already under control and the situation will improve further this week.
“The mosquito elimination program will continue throughout the year,” he said.
The mayor also said the city corporation has taken up a five year plan to prevent diseases like dengue and chikungunya by eliminating mosquitoes.
Manpower will be increased and an independent department named the ‘Communicable Diseases and Research Department’ will be introduced for this purpose, he added.
At the press briefing, an online portal journalist asked about the failure in managing the dengue outbreak, and said city corporation councilors were absent in the drive to kill mosquitoes.
The question offended the councilors’ and they became violent and even threatened the journalist to leave the program.
This triggered a wave of disapproval among the journalists. Dhaka Utility Reporters Association (Dura) President Mashiur Rahman protested the councilors’ behavior, but the councilors than asked all the journalists to leave the program.
To tackle the situation, Saeed Khokon took control of the matter, cooling both the councilors and the journalists. Following this, the mayor postponed the press briefing and left Mayor Mohammad Hanif Auditorium.
Earlier, just after the budget was announced, journalist Kamrun Nahar questioned the mayor’s statement that 90% of the roads under DSCC were suitable for traffic, saying that was not true as they are not, in reality.
At that time, the mayor challenged the reporter saying: “If you can prove it, then I will reward you with whatever you want.”
The reporter then said: “I do not need a reward. I live in Kathalbagan under ward 17. Most of the roads in that area are damaged. Senior citizens and pregnant women face problems going from one place to another.”
The mayor denied all the allegations but journalist Nahar also said: “It is nothing personal. You can even confirm the whole thing with the councilor of that area.”
The mayor then asked ward 17 councillor Salauddin Ahmed Dhali to respond.
Supporting the statement made by the journalist, councillor Dhali said he has not received any allocation for development even after applying to the city corporation to get the job done.
After hearing the councilor’s statement, mayor Saeed Khokon asked the DSCC executive engineer for regional area -1, Mohammad Shafiullah, about the whole thing.
The executive engineer responded that a tender is ongoing for development of the streets.
The mayor then asked the concerned officials to issue a show cause to the executive engineer and threatened termination if the answer to the show cause is not satisfactory.