Initiative taken to eradicate garbage-related mosquito breeding sources; civic body’s standoff with TN Slum Clearance Board over conservancy ends

The Chennai Corporation has decided to take up the responsibility of clearing garbage within slum tenements in order to bring down mosquito breeding sources.

As many as 200 neighbourhoods with 1.05 lakh households that have been developed by the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB), have been identified as breeding zones for mosquitoes, affecting residents in the area, even those not living in the slums.

Though TNSCB is supposed to maintain these areas it has been unable to carry out conservancy operations due to lack of manpower. Mounds of garbage rose and recently, the Corporation’s health department found that many of the mosquito breeding hotspots in the city were close to these TNSCB tenements.

“The sanitary staff with the TNSCB joined the Corporation a few years ago. But the Corporation too, was unable to clean these areas because they belonged to the TNSCB. As a result, garbage piled up, and has caused public health issues over the past few years. The issue has been resolved now,” said a TNSCB official.

“We had direct instructions from the Chief Minister who tasked us with finding a solution after the excessive mosquito breeding in this area caused health hazards to the public. Now, the Corporation will spend Rs. 20 crore to clean TNSCB areas,” said a Corporation official. Work will start shortly, he said.

The agreement comes following a long-running standoff between the two organisations, as the Corporation’s mandate was only to clean roads in TNSCB tenements and the TNSCB did not have the resources to clean other areas within the tenements.

“Residents here have suffered a lot because of mosquitoes. I had fever last month and the doctor said it was malaria,” said M. Devi, a resident of Kannagi Nagar, one of the areas developed by the TNSCB to rehabilitate slum residents.

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