Tuesday, April 25, 2006

BMP loses no sleep over mosquitoes

BMP loses no sleep over mosquitoes
Deccan Herald

It’s not the soaring temperature which is the cause for concern among Bangaloreans this summer. It’s the growing menace of buzzing and stinging mosquitoes and the tall claims by the health authorities.

Jazzy announcements about purchase of mosquito control equipment worth Rs 60 lakh and even the statement by Mayor Mumtaz Begum that M G Road would be washed every night are of no use, they say.

When the BMP has failed to implement health control measures effectively, what is the use of drawing up big plans which are totally unjustified, question the residents. “They are just making tall claims. We have not seen a BMP team or others visit our areas to implement health control measures,” alleged Prasad, a resident of Hanumanthnagar.

“I have been suffering from fever, fatigue and redness in the eye. Though the doctors failed to diagnose it, I suspect it to be Chikungunya,” said Kusuma, a resident of Indiranagar. She too claimed that the BMP had done little to control breeding of mosquitoes. The norm that fumigation and spraying of pest control solutions be carried out every fortnight during summer appears to have been thrown to the winds.

“There were a few cases of Chikungunya reported about 10 days ago. But it can be confirmed only after the blood samples are examined. However, most viral infections can be prevented by effective mosquito control,” said Dr Thyagaraj, Director of the Isolation Hospital, Bangalore.

According to entomologist Ravishankar, high temperatures and stagnant pools of water are conducive for breeding of mosquitoes. “By controlling these conditions, we can contain the menace. And usually, mosquitoes are highly active during the evening hours, between 6 pm and 7.30 pm”, he said. “Earlier, the BMP used to spray DDT. They switched over to fogging. But of late, they haven’t been taking enough measures. It is difficult to eliminate mosquitoes, but we can control their population by using fishes like ‘gambusia’ and guppies which feed on mosquito larvae,” he added.

Meanwhile, the BMP has maintained that it has stepped up the mosquito control measures. According to Dr Vijayalakshmi, Chief Medical Officer, BMP, “at least 30 medical officers are involved in identifying the mosquito breeding sites, even in the CMC limits.

Fogging in stormwater drains, gutters and stagnant pools is being carried out. We are using power sprays to kill the larva and fogging for adult mosquitoes.”


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