With dengue fever cases on the rise in Chennai, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) is taking tough steps to prevent the breeding of the aedes mosquito, which acts as a vector for the disease in the city. Recently, Integral Coach Factory (ICF), a production unit of the Indian Railways, was slapped with a fine of Rs. 1 lakh for maintaining poor sanitation in the premises and allowing the breeding of mosquitoes in the vicinity.
Speaking to Indianexpress.com, a senior officer from the health department of the GCC said that sanitary officers from the GCC had found breeding spots for mosquitoes in the coaches at the production unit during a routine check and had issued a warning to ICF. “Cases were also reported in and around Anna Nagar where ICF is located. We held an inter-coordination meeting on Wednesday and told the Railways to be careful in the yards. For now, we have issued a notice to ICF for paying a fine," he said.
With an increasing number of dengue cases being reported from across the state, the GCC has been cracking down on buildings and commercial establishments that are giving rise to mosquito breeding spots. “The GCC has fixed a minimum amount of Rs. 100 and cap of Rs. 10 lakh for imposing fines. A higher amount will be levied on hospitals, educational institutions and new construction sites since they have been found to be dangerous hotspots for mosquito breeding. A lesser grade will be imposed on apartments and residential complexes," said the health official.
The official added that individual households will be given a warning for a first-time offence. Subsequently, they will have to pay a fine of Rs. 100.
The official elaborated that buildings, which are found to be hotspots, will be issued a verbal warning the first time. If they fail to clear the hotspot, they will be issued a notice and a third time will attract a fine levied by the GCC.
Sanitary officials carry out periodic inspections of buildings across the city as routine and inspect certain buildings again following a fever outbreak in area surrounding the establishment. “If they observe that there is breeding, then they will levy the fine. If breeding sources are there, they will tell them to be cautious," explained the official.
Breeding sources of mosquitoes include empty paint cans, coconut husks, uncovered water cans, empty drums, garbage, uncovered drains, debris left at construction sites and plastic waste.
The GCC has collected Rs. 45 lakh in fine till date.