The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

deadly vec­tor-borne dis­ease, Acute En­cephali­tis Syn­drome (AES).

While the jury is out on whether deaths of 60 chil­dren at BRD in five days were due to dis­rup­tion in oxy­gen sup­ply or med­i­cal causes, the bad news from Gorakhpur is not likely to cease for an­other two years till the pro­posed AIIMS comes up here. It is crim­i­nal ne­glect on the part of suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ments at the Cen­tre and in the state that in the last three decades that more than one lakh kids have died in Poor­van­chal due to AES and more than a third of them breathed their last at BRD. Need­less to say that along with an AIIMS, what is needed in Gorakhpur is a full-fledged vi­ral re­search cen­tre to de­vel­opavac­cine­forAESan­dapro­to­col to fight the dis­ease. Close to 1,000 chil­drenaredyingev­eryyearatBRD due to AES as mosquitos and pol­luted wa­ter in­flict chil­dren with the deadly virus post-mon­soon. Union health min­is­ter JP Nadda has now ap­proved build­ing a re­search cen­tre in Gorakhpur. A 500-bed fa­cil­ity for chil­dren­inBRDisal­soslat­ed­to­come up. But this will take its own time. The Yogi Adityanath gov­ern­ment vac­ci­nated 90 lakh chil­dren in 38 dis­tricts to pro­tect them a g a i n s t Jap a ne s e En­cephali­tis (JE) – but is help­less against the AES. The de­vel­op­ment of an AIIMS in Gorakhpur has also been long stuck in red tape. It was on a call­ing at­ten­tion mo­tion of then Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath that the UPA gov­ern­ment had in 2011 as­sured Par­lia­ment that an AIIMS-like in­sti­tute would be set up in Gorakhpur to fight AES. How­ever, noth­ing much moved till 2016 when the Naren­dra Modi gov­ern­ment ap­proved set­ting up a 750-bed AIIMS and Modi laid the foun­da­tion stone of the same in July 2016. The dead­line for the same is 2019.

How­ever, se­ri­ous ques­tions would emerge on the Adityanath gov­ern­ment if oxy­gen sup­ply fail­ure is in­deed es­tab­lished in an on­go­ing in­quiry as the rea­son for the deaths.

In 2004, the BJP was em­bar­rassed by a tragedy in then PM Atal Bi­hari Va­j­payee’s con­stituency Luc­know as 21 women had died in a stam­pede while BJP’s Lalji Tan­don was dis­tribut­ing sa­rees on his birth­day. His son Ashutosh Tan­don, the present med­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter of UP, could now end up pay­ing the price of the em­bar­rass­ment faced by the CM in his home con­stituency, Gorakhpur. Only a CBI probe can cred­i­bly dis­pel doubts over the cause of these deaths.

Only a CBI probe can cred­i­bly dis­pel doubts over the cause of the re­cent deaths

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