Did civic bosses sit idle as the vector menace spread? | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Did civic bosses sit idle as the vector menace spread?

Sheer negligence and a lack of coordination at the state and local levels of the Mamata Banerjee government seems to have caused the sudden outbreak of dengue.

kolkata Updated: Sep 03, 2012 15:42 IST
Sandip Chowdhury

Sheer negligence and a lack of coordination at the state and local levels of the Mamata Banerjee government seems to have caused the sudden outbreak of dengue.

The dengue virus, which is taking the city by storm, has actually travelled a distance of 20 km, from Salt Lake to Tollygunge, despite the fact that its prime vector - the Aedes ageypti - can usually only move about 100 metres from its breeding site.

Questions are being raised about the cause behind the virus's rapid spread over such large distances, despite its incapacity to do so.

Chief entomologist at Kolkata Municipal Corporation, Debashish Biswas, said, Aedes aegypti, the prime vector or carrier for dengue, can travel only 100 metres from its breeding spot and the spread of dengue across the city is caused through the floating population.

This mosquito-borne virus, which first surfaced in Salt Lake, quickly travelled towards south Kolkata within under a month.

KMC authorities took the role of a mere spectator instead of trying to create a shield, keeping the virus from travelling.

There was no effort by the civic body to offer any aid to the Salt Lake municipality, despite the fact that the latter is very poorly equipped to combat the deadly virus.

It is true that for the sake of Kolkata, we have to develop the logistics of Salt Lake, which lacks a proper health department, and is managed by a single supervisor, a senior civic doctor attached with the vector control programme told HT.

Records with the KMC say that the deadly stings were proactive on the souther part of the city, which travelled all the way through the EM Bypass, from Salt Lake, to reach Netaji Nagar near Tollygunge.

Yes, the south is a more vulnerable to the deadly stings with open drains, vacant lands, open parks, closed apartments, unused roads, said MMiC health, Atin Ghosh.

Eyebrows are being raised over why KMC took so much time to act despite getting the warning bells with dengue hitting Salt Lake so hard.

Ground realities tell a different story, with KMC bosses busy saving their skins for inaction. HT visited the Science City area, to investigate how the path was cleared for the virus to travel south.

With flyovers and hotels under construction in the area, the Science City area has become a haven for Aedes aeypti to breed.

Our health field workers visit all sites that are under construction and spray repellents wherever it is required, said Biswas.

However, despite all assurances by KMC authorities, the reality paints a different picture. KMC men make doorto-door visits at regular sevenday intervals, but this has not changed the situation.