With fogging and anti-larvae measure not proving to be effective to curb the mosquito menace, the residents of Chembur have revived an age-old method to control the breeding of larvae.
Pestom Sagar Residents Association (PSRA) have begun a breeding of guppy fish also called as million fish. They leave these fishes into stagnant water puddles, which are sites for mosquito breeding.
This fish is a predator of mosquito eggs and larvae, which lead to the spread of malaria.
The residents have also spoken to supervisors of the construction sites near their locality and have released some of these fishes inside the water puddles in their premise.
Construction sites have been identified as high-risk malaria zones by the civic body.
“There are four such construction sites where we have released these fishes.
These fishes eat the larvae and help in controlling their spread,” said Dr Vijay Sangole of the Pestom Sagar Citizen Forum (PSCF).
Starting June 1, about 70,995 people tested have been tested for malaria. Of them 5,612 have tested positive while 5 people have died due to the illness.
A total of 85,435 cases of malaria were recorded in the state in 2009, of which 39,659 cases were recorded in Mumbai. At least 150 people died due to malaria in Mumbai in 2009.
The local civic ward office is also taking the service of these fishes to help control increase in larvae population.
“The Pest Control Officer from the ward office has also taken some fishes from us,” said Sangole.
We have been using the guppy fishes for a while now in Chembur area to control the growth of larvae, said an official with the pest control department of the civic body.
Meanwhile, the civic body has also begun an intensive surveillance programme to curb malaria.
They are also going to take the help of fire brigade officials to fog the premise of the mills, which are shut since many years.
The civic body has trained 28 officials to collect the larvae, after which they are tested at a lab the areas with maximum number of anopheles variety is found, more attention can be given to those areas.