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High-rises less accommodating than slums of dengue checks: insecticide dept

Stagnant pools of water are the typical breeding ground for mosqitos, the BMC warns

mumbai Updated: Aug 21, 2018 00:32 IST
Aayushi Pratap
Aayushi Pratap
Hindustan Times
Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation staff use a fogging machine to prevent the breeding of mosquitos in order to prevent spread of malaria, dengue and brain fever. (HT Photo)

Despite rising cases of dengue in the city, the municipal corporation’s insecticide department is facing hurdles in inspecting houses that could be harbouring mosquito-breeding sites.

Civic officials claim many citizens do not allow them into their homes even after they identify themselves as municipal workers. Dr Rajan Naringrekar, insecticide officer, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), noted that safety is a major reason for this. “People only get alarmed when someone in the neighbourhood gets infected,” he said.

Another official from the department pointed out that high-rises were more reluctant to allow them to carry out checks. “We don’t face this problem in the slums,” the official said.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the dengue virus, deposits its eggs in water left for a long time in open vases, tanks, birdbaths, fountains, trays under planters and other containers. The larvae need fresh water to hatch and grow. Emptying out these containers at least once a week can prevent the breeding cycle.

The BMC sends a notice if residents ignore these breeding sites even after repeated warnings. It can act against residents and buildings found negligent towards the warnings under Section 381 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act and can impose a fine, ranging between ₹2,000 and ₹10,000.

Till July 31 this year, the BMC had found mosquito breeding sites at 15,842 locations. Additionally, 565 residents and buildings were prosecuted and fines worth ₹63.8 lakh were collected during the period.

“Life of one mosquito is three weeks. So imagine how many mosquitoes would have been there transmitting malaria and dengue,” Dr Naringrekar said.

First Published: Aug 21, 2018 00:04 IST