273 Sonography Centres in State Sealed for Violating Provisions of PCPNDT Act
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18 July 2011
As many as 273 sonography centres in the state have been sealed for violating various provisions of the PCPNDT Act, 1994, during the massive crash inspection drive initiated by the state family welfare bureau between June 13 and July 15. Recognition of 75 medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) centres have also been withdrawn for breaching norms of MTP (medical termination of pregnancy) Act, 1971.
“The decision to conduct a massive inspection drive was taken from the highest decision-making level in the state and it was decided to ensure that strict action should be taken against those centres and doctors who indulge in sex determination and sex selective abortions,” said Suresh Gupta, additional director of state health services.
Provisional figures of census 2011 came as shock for the state as the child sex ratio declined by 30 points from 913 in 2001 to 883. The status of child sex ratio was a cause of grave concern for the entire state in general and all districts in Marathwada in particular. The child sex ratio has declined by 30 or more points in 14 districts, of which 7 districts – Jalgaon, Jalna, Parbhani, Hingoli, Washim, Buldhana and Beed – have shown a decline of more than 50 points.
The cause of decline in sex ratio as evident from the provisional findings of the census 2011 in the state required a comprehensive crash action to stop sex determination and sex selective abortions. “It was, therefore, decided at state level to undertake massive inspection drive of all such centres as per the provisions of the PCPNDT Act. The drive started on June 13 in Beed district and it was enlarged to include all districts in the state from June 17. The drive comprised of surprise inspection of both sonography centres as well as medical termination of pregnancy centres, which are government recognised abortion clinics,” said Gupta.
The PCPNDT Act has authorised appropriate authorities to conduct inspection of sonography centres, genetic counselling centres, genetic laboratories or clinics and if the inspection of the centres is carried out strictly and sincerely, it will curb the unethical activities resulting into sex determination and sex selective abortions. “A total of 6,174 sonography centres have been inspected and 273 centres have been sealed for various breaches of the provisions of the PCPNDT Act. Similarly, a total 2,041 MTP centres have been inspected and recognition of 75 centres have been withdrawn,” Gupta said.
Various provisions under which the sonography machines were sealed in the current drive include improper maintenance of record, non submission of reports, incomplete F-forms, presence of unregistered sonography machines, conduct of sonography by unregistered and unauthorised doctors, non-display of the mandatory instructions under the PCPNDT Act and several other breaches of the Act.
“Decoy cases have been conducted against some centres and are being planned throughout the state to curb the menace of sex determination and sex selective abortions. It is planned to continue the drive in near future and book erring doctors,” Gupta said, adding, “All such centres in state are, therefore, appealed to follow all the provisions of the Act strictly and scrupulously and keep away from any breach of the Act.”
“Doctors conducting sonography are also requested to cooperate with the authorities as far as inspection of the centres is concerned. In case they have any grievances, they are requested to contact the state appropriate authority on 020-26058996. Citizens are also requested to inform the state appropriate authority of any illegal sex determination practices being followed in their knowledge and complaints can be lodged on the toll free number 18002334475,” Gupta said.