South civic body in Delhi writes to agencies to clear drains
Several ponds that have dense habitation around them and become dumping grounds for locals with ample floating garbage on the surface include the Shamsi Talab, Aya Nagar pond and Ghitorni lake.Updated: May 17, 2019 05:18 IST
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has expressed concern over the proliferation of water hyacinth, floating garbage and silt in drains and water bodies in areas under their jurisdiction, citing them as obstacles in spraying insecticides to kill mosquito larvae breeding in them.
Ramesh Verma, additional commissioner (Public Health) of SDMC, has written to all agencies that manage drains and water bodies — DDA, PWD, CPWD, DJB and the flood and irrigation department. The letter dated May 14 asks all agencies to urgently remove vegetation, floating trash and silt from drains, ponds and lakes for “effective action of insecticides”.
South Delhi has 246 drains with a total length of 164.38 kms. Officials said the drains that have a major problem of hyacinth and floating garbage include Najafgarh drain that runs from Haryana border to Okhla, the Barapullah drain, Pankha Road nalla in Janakpuri, Taimur Nagar nalla, Chirag Dilli drain and a drain that runs along the Saket court.
Several ponds that have dense habitation around them and become dumping grounds for locals with ample floating garbage on the surface include the Shamsi Talab, Aya Nagar pond and Ghitorni lake.
A senior public health official with SDMC, who did not wish to be named, said, “The mosquito that breeds in drain water is not the dengue-causing aedes aegypti or malaria-inducing anopheles, but the nuisance-causing Culex. Aedes and anopheles prefer fresh water. The culex bites does not have a history of spreading diseases in Delhi-NCR.”
“But, we are worried about culex because it is responsible for causing several hundred cases of Japanese Encephalitis and Filariasis in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar,” he said.
Another officer in the same department said floating garbage and hyacinth on drains create “ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.”
“They hide in the covers and the insecticide does not even reach them. We spend lakhs of rupees every year on spraying chemicals to kill mosquito larvae in drains and dirty ponds, but the drops just stay on the floating garbage or hyacinth. Excessive use of these medicines is also an environmental hazard,” he said.