Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 7:

Opposition Congress and BJP today accused Odisha Government of negligence and suppression of facts while debating the Malkangiri Japanese Encephalitis (JE) deaths in the Assembly.


Main opposition Congress accused the State Government of deliberately neglecting the backward district in terms of delivering quality food, developing infrastructure, facilitating healthcare services and offering sanitation.

While the government spent Rs 45 crore on Make in Odisha conclave, they spent as little as Rs 1.5 crore in delivering healthcare services in Malkangiri, they argued.

“The Government provided Rs 5 lakh compensation when people died in SUM hospital. Not even a single rupee was given when tribal kids died in Malkangiri. The State Government is tendering a step-motherly treatment towards Malkangiri. This is most unfortunate,” rued Congress Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati.

Taking part in the debate, Leader of BJP Legislature Party KV Singh Deo alleged the government of playing down the death toll in a bid to escape infamy and liability.

The party put the JE death toll at 270, even though it didn’t cite the source of its number.

“They keep alleging Central negligence as and when it suits them, but turn down Central help when it is offered. The State Government is confused. They shouldn’t play with the healthcare of people,” said Singh Deo speaking to reporters outside the Assembly.

The government, on the other hand, assured the House that the JE situation is under control and the government is taking necessary steps to improve healthcare facilities in the district.

“The Government has taken all possible steps to contain the disease. No one has been admitted to the hospital in the past three days. No one is in ICU. Out of 103 total deaths recorded, 37 are JE deaths and rest 66 are AES cases,” said Health Minister Pradeep Amat.