FINANCE Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Thursday said he was not going to his office at the Economic Relations Division in the Planning Commission in fear of mosquito bites. "Mosquito infestation at the ERD office at Agargaon is high," he said while answering to a question whether he would from now on hold office at the Ministry of Finance at Secretariat. 'I will hold office in both places but at present I am evading the Planning Commission,' he said. He also said he had already suffered mosquito-borne viral disease dengue and chikungunya. He was infected with dengue days before placing his first National Budget in Parliament on June 13. It's to be noted that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina read out the remaining budget after Finance Minister retired from announcing the budget due to fever. We would be very happy if the statement of Finance Minister could be treated as a joke made with the city authorities. But in reality, the situation is nothing funny at all. The matter is so serious that, the High Court on Wednesday said the dengue situation in the capital is nothing short of an epidemic and slammed the two Dhaka City Corporations for their failure to combat the mosquito menace. The HC Bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader said 21 to 22 people, including children, have reportedly died and hundreds fallen victim to dengue fever. Dhaka North City Corporation and Dhaka South City Corporation could not take necessary steps even after the HC passed orders to that end. Not only that, the HC Bench criticised DSCC Mayor for saying that -- insecticide used to kill the mosquitoes was "slightly less effective than promised" which was the reason for "relatively higher dengue outbreak" this time. It's surprising how casually a matter could be taken by a Mayor even on a highly serious health-related matter. It's possible only when there is no accountability for anyone's failure, misdeed or corruption. We see, there will be no problem for both the Mayors just like the Finance Minister as they could take safe-shelter if mosquito bites turn bitter. But what the common people will do? We think, they have no other way but to become easy targets of mosquitoes and carry the germs of dengue.
Editor: A.M. MUFAZZAL, Managing Editor: ARSHAD HOSEIN.
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