Alarmed that the cases of malaria seem to be rising despite all measures, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to go all out against the source of the problem.
Considering that the rise in cases has been attributed to rampant construction activity across the city, the civic body has issued warning notices to 1,790 sites for not complying with anti-malaria norms.
The sites that have been issued notices have been given a time frame - depending on the scale of construction - to rectify the problem. If they fail to do so, a stop-work notice is issued.
The BMC had already issued stop-work notices to more than 34 construction sites. It has issued directives to all 2,473 construction sites and has listed a few anti-malaria activities and health mandates to keep the sites free of mosquito breeding.
The circular issued by the BMC's building proposal department says the builder would have to keep the site free of stagnant water and debris and will have to arrange for a doctor to visit the site every day and check the labourers. The builder will also have to the provide mosquito nets to all labourers. Only after builders comply with all conditions will the civic body issue a Commencement Certificate.
According to civic officers, the three special squads, will have officials from the health department, building proposal department and an officer from the local ward office for three zones - the island city, eastern suburbs and western suburbs.
The civic body claims that there has been a slump of at least 30 per cent in the number of blood samples testing positive in the high-risk wards identified by the BMC.
The civic body has undertaken a new technique called 'micro-mapping' in which the ward officer, health officer and pest control officer check the number of positive cases in their wards every day and track the areas from where these patients are from. "If a trend is found, then the anti-larval measures are undertaken in those areas. The health officers have also been asked to ensure patients undergo radical treatment which will prevent a re-lapse," Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said.