Growing swarms of pests torment city’s denizens

The mosquito menace is snowballing into a political issue in the city with the Left Democratic Front (LDF) pulling up the civic administration for its failure to control the pest population.

The front has also threatened to launch agitations, accusing the civic administration of having failed to act and protect the people from the pest.

The previous LDF regime had procured five fogging machines. They are no longer in use. Flushing the drains using sea water was stopped three years ago, said K.N. Sunilkumar, secretary of the LDF Parliamentary party of the Kochi Corporation.

The civic authorities had called off fogging operations along interior roads. The mosquito attacks have reached unprecedented levels. It may even lead to the outbreak of some contagious diseases in the city, he said.

Though the Mayor had assured the previous council meeting that pest control measures would be initiated shortly, he had failed to keep his word. The posts of senior officials of the administration, who were to lead the officials of the local body for such jobs, had been lying vacant. The State government and the Kochi Corporation, it seemed, were not keen on filling the vacancies, he said.

A special meeting of the Kochi Corporation Council should be convened to explain to the people the measures initiated by the administration to tackle the crisis situation, he said.

At the same time, T.K.Ashraf, Chairman of the Health Standing Committee, said that the local body had initiated fogging in the city on Friday at Panampilly Nagar as decided earlier. It would be extended to other parts of the city too.

The city had been experiencing an increase in the mosquito population during the December-January period for long. It is also the case with other parts of the district. The local body had strengthened the drive by providing more equipment and support mechanism for the workers. Arrangements for clearing the salary arrears of workers engaged in the divisions for the anti-mosquito drive have been made, he said.

The local body has no plans to renew the flushing of drains with sea water as it had invited audit objections. The flushing of drains was introduced when the city lacked effective measures to check the mosquito population. The administration was focusing on controlling the population of the insects at source, he said.

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