Dengue Survey Leads to Delay of Water Bills in Mangalore

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The mosquito-borne diseases have created havoc for a lot of people, especially in the low-lying areas of India, where water has collected. The stagnant water has worked as a breeding ground for the mosquito, causing people to suffer from several vector-borne diseases, including dengue, malaria and chikungunya.

However, dengue has also spread to other parts of India, wherever the mosquitoes are finding suitable environment to survive. Mangalore, a city in Karnataka, has been affected by the spread of dengue. This issue has directly affected the reading of meters and distribution of bills for consumption of water in the city, as reported by The Times of India.

According to a report, over 80,000 water consumers under Mangaluru City Corporation’s (MCC) water supply network have not received their water bills for the past two months, creating a panic. The disruption has been caused due to the spread of dengue in the city in July and August. The process of reading meters for water supply and distribution of bills has been delayed as a result.

A number of multi-purpose workers (MPW) of the city corporation in Mangaluru are busy conducting door-to-door visits to read water supply meters and issue bills regularly.

However, the bigger issue has come in light as all the 60 MPWs have been deputed for the dengue survey in the city for the past two months. The problem has escalated further when the city locales started complaining on non-receiving of water bills. Many residents also went to the city corporation seeking information on the same.

Naresh Shenoy, assistant executive engineer, told ToI, “The water billing process was stopped due to dengue survey and other related drives.” Back in July 2018, the MCC council approved a proposal for the integration of drinking water meter reading and bill distribution with the malaria control programme. A total of 60 MPWs were recruited for the purpose. However, with both malaria control programme and water bill distribution going hand-in-hand, it has created a problem for city residents.

Shenoy added, “All the 60 MPWs and 10 supervisors were deputed to conduct area survey for the prevention of dengue in the city. Since they were busy in anti-dengue drives, the process of billing for water supply was affected. They were being deputed to conduct surveys in identified areas where more dengue cases were reported. Recently, they have started the water billing work, since dengue is under control.”