Garbage, inadequate fogging are reasons

Residents of various areas in the city have been complaining about mosquitoes, which they say have increased after the rains subsided and the cold weather on its way out.

P.Srimathi, a homemaker in Mandaivelipakkam, said that though staff from the Chennai Corporation regularly visit and spray insecticides in her locality, it seem to be of little help in containing the problem. “The mosquitoes seem to be immune to what they spray. Perhaps it is time to change to something stronger,” she said.

Residents blamed the increase in the mosquito population on the uncleared garbage, inadequate fogging and stagnant water in canals. T.K.S.Radha, a resident of Mylapore, said that barring a few hours in the day, the mosquitoes pose problems. “We have to constantly use a bat to catch the insects. During the recent cold spell, we did not have as many mosquitoes.”

K.Krishnakumar, a resident of P.T. Rajan Salai, K.K.Nagar, said his family uses two mosquito liquid repellents (vapourisers) per month but nothing works. “Coils give us headache and suffocation. We are waiting for something new from the mosquito repellent manufacturers.”

The Corporation helpline (1913) has been receiving complaints from residents in Kottupuram, Thiruvanmiyur, Saidapet, Choolaimedu and Virugambakkam.

“The weather is changing and mosquito breeding seems to be on the rise. We have launched a six-point action plan to battle the menace. It includes fogging and spraying of stormwater drains and canals,” said an official in the health department of the Chennai Corporation.

Each of the 15 zones had been provided 10 new equipment for spraying insecticides in all the streets. Five malaria workers have been deployed for each of the 200 wards and wherever necessary daily wage labourers are being engaged.

“We send our men to the areas from where we receive complaints. Malaria cases are also kept tab of and we spray insecticide at the homes,” an official said.

Meanwhile, a study on chikungunya and dengue by the National Institute of Epidemiology to help chalk out an action plan for the civic body is on. “We are in the process of collecting data and the report would be ready in three months. The aim is to locate the most affected areas in the city and see if the environment makes the virus more virulent,” said the Institute director Sanjay Mehendale.