‘High risk areas’ given priority: official

With dengue fever creating panic among the city residents, shortage of fogging machines hampers the anti-dengue operations.

Of the total 19 hand held fogging machines with the Salem City Municipal Corporation, only 14 could be used apart from four lorries mounted with fogging machines.

Rise in mosquito density in many localities is a cause of concern as clogged drains, garbage accumulation and stagnation of rain water facilitates breeding of mosquitoes. But residents question the civic body’s preparedness to face the uphill task with the available machines to cover the entire over eight lakh population spread across 60 wards.

Though health workers were involved in spraying of larvicide in few areas and carry out fogging operations during early morning and evening, most of the wards were not covered, either due to shortage of machines or due to inadequate workers.

City Health Officer S. Porkodi told The Hindu that high risk areas like slums were identified and indoor fogging operations were carried out. Awareness programme were conducted regularly among the residents and were informed of closing the overhead tanks, remove water from tyres, unused flower pots and coconut shells. “Self-help groups too will be involved in the process,” she added.

The Under Ground Drainage (UGD) work and Tirumanimutharu River project carried out for many years is also adding to the woes as water stagnation is reported across the city. But residents complain that it becomes a breeding place for mosquitoes and wanted the health officials to carry out fogging operations.

When contacted, District Collector K. Maharabushanam said that he would talk to civic body officials to intensify the anti-dengue operations so that there is no outbreak in the city.

“First round of anti-dengue operations have already been completed already,” he added.