As the second south-west monsoon since the closure of the Vilappilsala waste treatment plant approaches, the City Corporation has drawn up a detailed action plan that accords top priority to checking the spread of communicable diseases such as dengue.

During a press conference held at the Corporation office here on Friday, Mayor K. Chandrika and District Collector K.N. Satheesh urged the public to support the campaign.

Health and ASHA workers would work in tandem with residents’ associations to inspect homes as well as public places to identify vector-breeding sites. May 12, 19 and 26 would be observed as ‘dry days.’ The Collector explained dengue was spread by mosquitoes that were active during the day and which laid eggs in fresh water. “It is not just drainage or filthy water. So water stored in containers, tanks and so on should be kept covered.”

Drains and canals would be cleaned to ensure that water did not remain stagnant. A total of Rs.25 lakh would be allocated by the Corporation for such activities. Besides, the National Rural Health Mission and the Suchitwa Mission would give Rs.10,000 each per ward. The cooperation of various departments and agencies, including Public Works Department, Kerala Water Authority and the Irrigation Department, had been sought to clean and cover the open drains in the city.

Anti-larvicide spraying and fogging would be carried out in public places and residential areas. Areas from where cases of dengue had been reported would be prioritised and indoor fogging in homes of patients would also be undertaken. In addition, fish species that feed on mosquito larvae, such as gambusia, would be reared in canals, wells and ponds. Every Friday afternoon, cleaning would be carried out in all government offices, said the Collector. Rat poison acquired from the Kerala State Warehousing Corporation would be placed on the office premises.

The Mayor asserted that no alternative was as viable as the reopening of the Vilappilsala plant to deal with the 300 tonnes of garbage produced in the city every day. There were limits in setting up biogas plants or pipe composts at homes in the city, but Ms. Chandrika made a rough estimate of how about 100 tonnes of garbage generated could be processed this way and the remaining would have to buried and burned in available land.