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BMC receives over 4,200 complaints of mosquito menace in 2 mths

Feb 23, 2024 07:12 AM IST

BMC said it received 1724 complaints from across the city in January, of which 1715 were attended. In December, 2023, over 2500 complaints were received. Officials said nearly 20 lakh hutments in slums and 54,000 housing societies were fogged in January, apart from around 1.2 lakh storm water drains (SWDs)

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) received 4,241 complaints of mosquito menace in December 2023 and January this year. While officials claimed to have attended citizens’ complaints in the affected wards every week, they insisted that November to March are the months when culex mosquitoes (also known as nuisance mosquitoes) breed, leading to a sharp rise in complaints.

Mumbai, India. Feb 21,2024 - A resident of Pratiksha Nagar, Sion uses an electric bat to kill mosquitoes and protect himself. There have been mosquitoes in the area for the past few months. Feb 21,2024. (Photo by Raju Shinde/HT Photo)

The civic body said the situation could be brought under control if citizens adopt a healthy way of living and keep their surroundings clean. “Culex mosquitoes breed on filth and stagnant water. Unless that is sorted, the mosquito menace will persist,” said an official.

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BMC said it received 1724 complaints from across the city in January, of which 1715 were attended. In December, 2023, over 2500 complaints were received. Officials said nearly 20 lakh hutments in slums and 54,000 housing societies were fogged in January, apart from around 1.2 lakh storm water drains (SWDs).

Each of the 227 councillor ward has a team of two staff members that has been given one fogging machine.

“The nallahs go dry after the monsoons; we only have look out for illegal sewage discharge. Unless that is stopped and people stop throwing garbage mosquitos will continue to multiply,” he said.

During this season, BMC focuses on mosquito breeding sites in slums and SWDs. “Unlike in dengue and malaria mosquito sites, we do not need to inspect the building’s water tanks. Instead, we inspect as many SWDs and hutments as possible. Due to overwhelming complaints, we open these SWDs, spray pesticide and mix it well to ensure breeding spots do not multiply.”

Advocate Trivankumar Karnani, founder of Mumbai North Central District Forum, emphasized, despite BMC’s claims of on-ground action, “the issue of mosquito infestation persists”.

“There is a crucial need for the civic body to enhance its workforce. Currently, there is delay in BMC’s response to our complaints – it takes them a few days to address them. This gap must be covered promptly. Without same-day attention to complaints, the mosquito problem is likely to escalate,” said Karnani.

HT on Wednesday and Thursday reported on mosquito menace across the city.

BMC officials said suburbs are worst affected with swarms of nuisance mosquitoes due to design of the SWDs and open nallahs, which make fumigation a challenge.

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