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Eateries on Margao’s open spaces a health hazard

 

ROQUE DIAS | NT

MARGAO: Eateries have mushroomed in the open spaces and along roadsides in Margao, especially, in the old fish market area. These eateries serve food in unhygienic conditions, throwing cautions to the wind, and the  health authorities and the Margao  municipality seem  to have turned a Nelson’s eye to this.

These eateries mostly function in the morning hours and cater to the labourers, who are on the job hunt.

Another issue that is a cause for concern in the town is the rampant urination and spitting in the open. What is even more appalling is the fact that the vendors selling fruits, vegetables and even bread occupy these spots for conducting their business.

Agreeing to the fact that  action was not  taken in the past, the chief officer of the Margao Municipal Council Deepali Naik said that  “I was not  fully aware of this situation. I will be directing  the market inspector to  inspect the areas and take necessary action.  A detailed  report will be sought from the market inspector.”

A doctor from Margao, Venkatesh  Hegde said, “There are  reports from the  private hospitals and  government  health centres that  migrant labourers, stationed behind the  Margao Municipality building,  are  often  found to be TB carriers, and these workers spitting on the roads here could lead to easy spread of the infectious disease.  I had written to the  authorities 15 days back, but nothing has happened. None of the authorities concerned have bothered to take action.”

He said that after he wrote a letter to the police, the workers were not seen in the area for some days, but returned thereafter.

Dr Hegde will be observing a dharna on April 29 in the town  to  draw the attention of the authorities to the health hazard.

Sources informed that on an average around 150 TB cases are reported in a month in the private hospitals in Margao.

Another  chest  specialist  said that   travellers including  the migrants  often  become the victims of TB.

Dr  A Karangate, medical officer of the  Urban  Health Centre, said that “the migrants are  often found to be TB carriers, and  so could spread the disease. We check them for malaria, but never  check for  TB. Those found coughing  are checked and often found positive for TB.”

“Health centre team cannot  check these labourers at the site. If the  MMC and NGOs come together to bring them to us,  I assure you to check them thoroughly and also threat them,” Dr Karangate added.

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