They have become breeding grounds for mosquitoes
The city is in the vicious grip of mosquitoes and flies thanks to the enormous pile up of garbage in the three main canals that project a dry look with pools of water owing to the ongoing delta modernisation works.
With no water flowing and the filth, predominantly plastic objects, piling up rapidly the citizens are put to severe hardship. Film of fresh water is breeding mosquitoes.
Cases of elephantiasis are increasing, but the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation is doing very little to remove the garbage from the canals allow water to flow or dry up. “The mosquitoes and flies are having a field day,” said a student preparing for the public examination.
Water release was stopped in January in view of the delta modernisation works. “But no proper efforts are being made to clean up the puddles of sewage that have become the breeding ground for mosquitoes. Mosquito menace is usually felt less in places like Rajarajeswaripet and Krishna Lanka during January, but this time around they appear in large numbers,” said CPI(M) corporator Ch. Babu Rao.
‘Lack of plan'
Many feel the VMC should take steps on a war-footing in removing the filth and water from the canals. “I think there is lack of will or a plan among the civic officials. I am surprised how the VMC was awarded the best city recently by the Centre ,” said J.V.N.D Prasad, a banker, with a tinge of sarcasm.
Culex mosquitoes, that spread elephantiasis, breed under such conditions. “The VMC has failed to anticipate the after-effects of stoppage of water to the canals. It should intensify the anti-larval operations and other sanitary works. The VMC should also press into service more staff towards clearing this”, Mr. Prasad said.
Mr. Rao said the Rajakas (dhobhis) were facing hardships as they used canal water to wash clothes. As the ground water level is low, they are dependent on bore water.
District Malaria Officer Ram Babu said viral fevers were under check and the 11 laboratories in the city were working overtime to identify the cases. “The corporation is taking up anti-larval activity in the canal areas too. A good number of health supervisors, inspectors, and officers are visiting the houses regularly to detect cases and also educating the citizens on mosquito control”.