People may be fined for prevalence of unhygienic conditions in their houses

The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) is contemplating following the ‘Delhi model' to control vector-borne diseases like dengue and malaria in the city.

If the Corporation plans were to be implemented, the people would have to cough up fine if unhygienic conditions were found to be prevailing in their houses. The vacant land owners, hitherto evading any maintenance of their lands, would have to be utmost cautious. The VMC is contemplating prosecuting them for not adhering to the norms. Most of the vacant lands in the city are found to be breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Elaborate exercise

For this, the VMC would take up an elaborate exercise in the next couple of days. The Corporation would prepare a comprehensive data covering all aspects and problems of vector-borne diseases. It includes: the census wise data, population, households, slums, number of fever cases registered in the recent past, number of patients treated, number of vacant lands, problematic areas, low-lying areas, high-risk areas, mosquito menace and breeding areas etc. The data would emphasize fever cases registered from slums, high risk areas—mosquito breeding, mosquito menace, fever cases etc., sources say. The Delhi government is stated to be imposing fines on land owners etc if their lands were found to be slushy, marshy and haven for mosquito breeding. The VMC tried to streamline the vacant lands problem when Natarajan Gulzar was municipal commissioner. Thereafter, the officials put it on a backburner claiming that identification of land owners was a biggest hurdle. Now, Municipal Commissioner G. Ravi Babu is planning to issue notices and prosecute them. The VMC is empowered under HMC Act to levy fines on a house owner if unhygienic conditions are prevailing there, sources say.

The malaria cases have been on rise this year compared to last year. For instance, only 124 cases were reported in June last year. It touched 281 this year. However, so far, dengue cases had not been reported this year though a highest of 460 cases were reported in September last year. The VMC officials say that there was an increase in number of cases as the VMC took up a special drive to identify the cases from all possible avenues such as private hospitals, clinics, and RMPs. It was a not the case last year, they say.

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