The awareness campaign would be carried out for three months

The Tiruchirapalli City Corporation has decided to hire women’s self-help groups to take up awareness and preventive against dengue ahead of the monsoon in the city.

Although the city is yet to get monsoon showers, the civic body has geared up to launch an information-education and communication (IEC) campaign to sensitise residents on preventing breeding of the dengue-causing mosquito that breeds in freshwater.

The civic body appears to be keen on launching the campaign well ahead of the monsoon season given last year’s bad experience when quite a few dengue cases were reported in the city.

The corporation then had to rope in nursing students and voluntary organisations to carry out an awareness campaign. It organised several medical camps across the city to screen for dengue patients.

“The corporation will deploy self-help groups each with 30 members to take up the door-to-door campaign. One group will be deployed in each of the four zones in the city,” Commissioner V.P. Thandapani told The Hindu. Every group will be required to cover about 500 houses every day.

The groups will primarily focus on prevention of stagnation of fresh water in households and remove the same from uncovered water tanks, flower pots, discarded tyres, and other containers. They will apply the abate solution.

The campaign will be carried out for three months. In an attempt to ensure transparency in the hiring of the SHGs, the corporation has called for tenders from SHGs willing to take up the work. The corporation council at its recent meeting approved the award of the tenders to lowest bidders.

The corporation has decided to form community groups with the help of experienced voluntary organizations to take up maintenance of about 309 public toilets in the city. Of the 370 public toilets in the city, 61 were being maintained by the Alaigal women’s organisation under the supervision of Gramalaya, a voluntary organisation. The remaining toilets are maintained by the corporation staff. But given the shortage of sanitary workers in the civic body, many were not being properly maintained and not used properly by the people.

In an attempt to overcome the problem, the civic body has now decided to form community groups on the lines of the Alaigal groups. The corporation will carry out minor repairs at the toilets and provide cleaning material such as bleaching powder and disinfectants.

The corporation will pay the power bill as most of the groups complain that they were not able to meet this expenditure with nominal fee collected from users.