Delhi civic bodies start preparations to check mosquito breeding ahead of monsoon

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New Delhi, Jun 29 (PTI) Ahead of the monsoon season, civic bodies in Delhi have started preparations to check mosquito breeding to deal with vector-borne diseases by launching fumigation drives, anti-larval medicine spray campaign and release of gambusia fish in water bodies, officials said on Tuesday.

According to municipal authorities, they have started survey of households, government and private offices, and educational institutions to check mosquito breeding. The three civic bodies --- North, South and East Delhi municipal corporations --- have so far issued over 2,000 challans against violators in the national capital.

North Delhi Mayor Raja Iqbal Singh said that the civic body was spraying anti-larval medicine and conducting fumigation regularly to stop mosquito breeding, specially at construction sites, hospitals, police stations, bus depots, fire stations, education institutions, private and government offices. He said that Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan also convened a virtual meeting on Tuesday on the issue in which he was briefed about the civic body's preparedness in dealing with the mosquito menace.

'The North Corporation has identified over 170 sites where water accumulates in monsoon and we will spray anti-larval medicines there. We will also release gambusia fish at such locations as it feeds on mosquito larvae. We are also carrying out awareness campaigns about vector borne diseases,' Singh told PTI.

Gambusia fish eats mosquito larvae and therefore it is used in mosquito breeding control methods. Singh said 1,700 Domestic Breeding Checkers (DBC) are regularly conducting household inspections to check mosquito breeding, adding that nearly 50 lakh households have been surveyed while spraying of medicine has been done in about 19 lakh households.

According to data provided by three civic bodies, 34 cases of dengue have been reported till June 26 this year, while only 20 cases were reported during the same period last year. The total number of dengue cases last year was 1,072, while it was 2,036 in 2019. No deaths have been reported so far due to dengue.

The city has reported only six cases of chikungunya till June 26 this year, while 11 cases were reported during the same period last year. In 2020, the city had 111 cases of chikungunya, while there were 293 cases in 2019.

Till June 26 this year, Delhi reported 11 cases of malaria, while the number was 35 till the same date last year. A total of 228 malaria cases were reported in Delhi last year compared to 713 such cases in 2019.

Gyanesh Bharti, the commissioner of South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), said that he has issued instructions to senior officials to monitor the checking and minimising sources of mosquito breeding across the SDMC areas with special emphasis on unauthorised colonies and JJ clusters. He said that besides regular fumigation and spray of anti-larval medicines, the SDMC was also conducting ward-level awareness programmes with the help of RWAs. A senior official of the SDMC, who wished not to be named, said, 'DBC workers have conducted checking at over 25 lakh households and sprayed medicine at nearly 1.6 lakh households. We have also sent 2,580 legal notices and issued challans against 625 people after finding mosquito breeding at their premises.' The civic body has also issued notices to many educational institutions and company offices among others. Similarly, former mayor of East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) Nirmal Jain, who is also overseeing these preparations, said that the civic body was conducting regular household checks, fumigation and anti-larval medicine sprays to check mosquito breeding. He said that besides this, removal of silt dumped near PWD drains is also necessary to stop their breeding. 'Silt dumped near open drains on roadside also encourages mosquito breeding and creates hindrance in insecticidal spray in these drains. We have also issued around 500 challans against violators. 'We have sprayed anti-larval medicine at around 50,000 households and our DBC workers have surveyed nearly 22 lakh households till June 26,' Jain added. PTI AKM AAR AAR

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