Mosquito hunt in Mumbai: Dengue hotspots at Yashraj, RK studios

  • Priyanka Vora, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Sep 24, 2015 23:18 IST

Two film studios were served notices on Thursday after BMC inspection teams found breeding sites of the Aedes mosquito, which spreads the dengue virus, on their premises. At RK Studio, Chembur, pest-control officers found mosquito larvae in the pot of a Feng Shui plant in the reception area. At Yashraj Studios, Andheri, water that had collected in shooting equipment was found to be attracting mosquitoes. Film producer Yash Chopra, the studio’s founder, died of dengue in 2012, after which the BMC had found mosquito breeding sites in the studio.

Apart from the studios, the civic body has also found mosquito breeding sites in hospitals, including a whopping 33 in JJ Hospital, Byculla. The insecticide department has served no less than 55 notices to the hospital, which treats patients with dengue. Recently, two MBBS students were also treated for the infection there.

“We found breeding spots in water buckets in the toilets of the students’ hostel and in flowerpots in the homes of doctors who live on the premises,” said R Naringrekar, chief insecticide officer, BMC.

Pest-control officers also found breeding sites in abandoned drums on the hospital’s campus and in water drums in the anatomy department. The institute has perhaps received the higest number of notices for breeding sites, but its dean, Dr TP Lahane, claimed he had received none. “We have not received any notices so far. We are screening the campus for breeding sites and eliminating them regularly,” said Dr Lahane.

Since January, the civic insecticide department has served notices to 16,587 places, including homes, housing societies and offices under the BMC Act for ignoring mosquito breeding sites. “If we find breeding sites in any area, we serve prosecution notices under Section 381(b) of the BMC Act. People have to take responsibility to eliminate breeding sites on their premises,” said Naringrekar.

In September alone, the BMC has found and eliminated 1,953 potential breeding sites. Of these, 1,776 – or 90% – were found in buildings. Unlike the mosquito that spreads malaria, the Aedes mosquito, which spreads dengue, breeds in clean water.

Meanwhile, Dr C Pawar, head of the civic-run Kasturba Hospital, who is undergoing treatment for dengue , has been shifted to the medical intensive care unit of Nair Hospital at Mumbai Central. Doctors said his condition is stable but that he is complaining of breathlessness.

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