After facing biting criticism for the mosquito menace in the city, the Kochi Corporation has decided to deploy gadgets to control the menace.

The local body has decided to add a new weapon— power sprayers— to its arsenal. The new device can spray larvicides, an insecticide, in three different modes.

The corporation had earlier tried out two machines on a pilot basis to curb the menace in the city. “More such machines, which can cover large areas will be used in the city,” said T.K. Ashraf, chairman of the Health Standing Committee of the Kochi Corporation.

Three machines will be set apart for the eastern parts of the city and two for West Kochi. Each division will be divided into seven blocks and control measures will be introduced.

However, the Corporation is facing shortage of workers to carry out anti-mosquito operations. The civic body has tried to address the issue by recruiting workers on a daily wage basis.

Mr. Ashraf said the Corporation could now cut down its expenditure on anti-mosquito operations as it is focussing on curbing mosquito breeding grounds. The annual expense was restricted to a maximum of Rs.10 lakh during the last three years against the nearly Rs.1 crore spent earlier.

Large-scale fogging operations were called off as people did not favour it. People left their areas when larvicides were used for fogging, he said. The corporation council had earlier directed the Health officials to re-introduce the system in the wake of increased pest attack.

The mosquito menace in the city reaches its height during the December-March period, which is considered to be the ideal time for its breeding.

The State government has increased funds for local bodies as part of the pre-monsoon drive to prevent outbreak of diseases in the State.

“Each division of the Corporation will get Rs.25,000 each for organising control measures. The National Rural Health Mission and the Suchitwa Mission will give Rs.10,000 each, the local body will chip in with Rs.5,000 for every division,” said Tony Chammany, Kochi Mayor.

The revised assistance was announced at the meeting of the civic heads held at Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday. Tablets for control of filariasis will be distributed as part of the drive.

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