The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has withdrawn the circular issued by them asking the builders to fumigate their construction sites, which are considered to be high-risk zones for the spread of malaria.
After receiving a poor response from the builders, the BMC decided to continue fogging the sites as they previously did and charge money from the builders.
The state government directed the BMC to undertake this procedure because under-construction sites have been marked as high-risk zones due to the puddles and tanks there acting as mosquito breeding areas. The BMC wanted to implement the new procedure as the manpower needed to carry out fumigation was not available with them.
Under the new method the onus of keeping the construction sites free of larvae was put on the builders, and if not complied, their construction permissions were to be revoked.
“There was very poor response from the builders. Only 37 builders came forward when a workshop was held for them,” said Dr G.T. Ambe, executive health officer. As the labourers working at one site migrate to other sites, they carry malaria virus with them. With the rising number of malaria cases, the BMC has identified vulnerable wards constituting areas such as Dadar, Prabhadevi, Matunga, Worli, Mankhurd and Kurla as they have a high rate of the construction activity.
A 35-year-old man died of malaria at Sion Hospital on Monday. This month 1,245 malaria patients have been admitted to hospitals so far.