Kolkata slum aims to be ‘a model better than Dharavi’ in India; TMC writes to WHO seeking acknowledgement – Times Now

Kolkata News

Dharavi slum in Mumbai. File photo& 

Key Highlights

  • Kolkata slum with one active case, better managed than Dharavi
  • Belgachia slum has more than one lakh population; micro surveillance helped contain the spread
  • TMC MP writes to WHO seeking appreciation similar to Dharavi in Mumbai

There has been a massive spurt in fresh Covid-19 cases in West Bengal, with maximum cases being reported from Kolkata, the state capital along with districts like North 24 Paraganas and Howrah. Close to 30 per cent of overall cases in the state have been reported from Kolkata, the urban cluster which is a mix of slums, high rises and middle-class neighbourhoods. What Dharavi is to Mumbai, the Belgachia slum is to Kolkata. Even though it’s less than one-tenth of the size of Dharavi but it is one of the largest and most densely populated ‘Bustees’ in Kolkata, with over one lakh population. But while Dharavi has reported more than 2300 positive cases, Belgachia slum has seen only 14 positives. As on Tuesday, there is just one active case in Belgachia slum, overall 2 deaths so far.

TMC MP and local councillor of Belgachia, Dr Shantanu Sen has written to the World Health Organization (WHO) seeking validation of Covid control work at Belgachia slum. WHO has recently appreciated the control of Covid at Dharavi slum in Mumbai, TMC MP thus wants similar acknowledgement and appreciation. In a letter to Dr Hendrik Jan Bekedam, WHO representative, Regional Officer for South Asia, he wrote: “Belgachia bustee of ward no 93 of Kolkata Municipal Corporation did even better control over Covid-19“ and attached a comparative study of Belgachia slum and Dharavi.

“When the first case was reported in Belgachia slum, we were all worried. People thought this will explode. BJP wanted to give play the religion card since it’s a minority area. But look now how we have managed. It’s not our success but the success of the people of that slum. Thus it needs appreciation and acknowledgement. It’s the people who made the most sacrifice and endured the most. Belgachia should become the model for the country,” said Dr Santanu Sen

Kolkata Municipal Corporation had given special focus on all the slums in the city including Belgachia. The first rapid antibody test when launched and before was withdrawn due to faulty kits had only happened at Belgachia slum for two consecutive days. Micro surveillance, intense sanitisation drives were carried out. And lastly Hydrochroquine profile active tablets were given as a preventive measure and as per the ICMR guideline. But locals say the counselling sessions had acted as the biggest motivation for people to remain inside their small homes.

In the current spate of cases more cases have been reported from the luxury condominiums in the city, compared to the slums. Kolkata has recorded 524 cases on Tuesday. In July Bengal contributes 3.42 per cent of total cases across the country. The state has assigned four Nodal officers for four worst-affected districts in the state including Kolkata. The state home secretary Alapon Bandyopadhyay has been assigned the responsibility of supervising and coordinating various activities to control and combat the spread of the virus. Total 1390 fresh cases were reported on Tuesday from across the state.

Source: https://www.timesnownews.com/kolkata/article/kolkata-slum-aims-to-be-a-model-better-than-dharavi-in-india-tmc-writes-to-who-seeking-acknowledgement/621533