Various equipment worth Rs.84.26 lakh to contain mosquito menace were procured by the Chennai Corporation in the last three and a half years. These include catamarans, fibre boats and fogging machines, Mayor M. Subramanian said on Saturday.

Speaking at a function to distribute 175 light weight hand-held pumps to spray chemicals to control mosquito menace, he said conventional pumps were made of brass and weighed as much as 10 kg each.

Procured at a cost of Rs. 2.23 lakh, the spraying equipment made of plastic would slowly replace brass pumps. While each plastic pump costs Rs.1,275, a brass pump costs the civic body Rs.4,500.

Mr. Subramanian said that such equipment was being introduced in the Corporation on a trial basis.

The manufacturer, a Chennai-based firm, had given a warranty of one year.

When asked if the pumps had been subjected to tests by independent agencies as in the case of free shoes and bags distributed to students of schools run by the Corporation, Mr. Subramanian said that a five-member technical committee of the civic body had conducted breaking tests on the plastic pumps.

A two-minute documentary film on how mosquitoes breed and how it could be prevented was screened to a gathering comprising malaria workers. Copies of the CDs would be given to theatre owners for public screening, Mr. Subramanian said.

He presented 10 laptops to assistant health officers.

A section of malaria workers said that the new spraying machines did not have any provision for carrying them on their backs.

“It is convenient to hold the container, with nine litres of the chemicals, as a backpack. The container also does not seem to be sturdy,” said a worker.

Corporation Commissioner (in-charge) Ashish Chatterjee and Deputy Commissioner (Health) P.Jyothi Nirmala participated in the function.

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