More than 65 wards have reported dengue cases this year; residents blame vacant plots. The Chennai Corporation is yet to develop a full-fledged entomological laboratory to test the efficacy of chemicals and prepare self-assessment reports of the existing mosquito problem.

Mosquito menace has intensified in the city with a rise in mosquito density in a number of localities. Recent reports of malaria in areas such as Saligramam and abnormal increase in density of mosquitoes in T. Nagar are indicators of problems in the days to come.

“There is an increase in mosquitoes. Poor quality of stormwater drains constructed a few months ago has facilitated water stagnation and breeding of mosquitoes,” said V.S. Jayaraman, a resident of Motilal Street in T. Nagar. “They have stopped fogging over the past few weeks. Many residents have disturbed sleep,” said K.S. Sridhar, another resident of T. Nagar.

Residents of many places in the newly-added areas blame owners of vacant plots of land for the rise in the number of mosquitoes. “Breeding of mosquitoes due to water stagnation and garbage accumulation on vacant plots has increased due to intermittent rain. We depend on mosquito nets,” said H. Sudhakar, a resident of Madipakkam.

B. Kannan of Prabhu Nagar in Thoraipakkam said local civic body officials had informed residents in his neighbourhood that chemicals for fogging operations or spraying of larvicide would be procured in ten days.

This year, more than 65 wards in the city have reported dengue cases. Efforts of Chennai Corporation to rope in councillors to improve participation of residents in mosquito control have not succeeded. Most of the overhead tanks remain open and the officials have not conducted inspection in many areas to create awareness among residents.

Infectious diseases such as dengue and malaria are prevalent in high-end localities in Teynampet, Kodambakkam, Royapuram, Adyar and Anna Nagar, according to private medical practitioners. However, most hospitals fail to report such cases to the Chennai Corporation.

Months after Corporation’s health officials advised councillors to urge people to remove tyres, unused flower pots, buckets and coconut shells from around their homes, such breeding grounds continue to exist in many parts of the city. Rains over the past few days have worsened the condition in many unoccupied plots of land in the city.

The corporation is set to hire more private workers for malaria control, on a temporary basis, in the added areas to cope with mosquito menace, said an official of the civic body. Tenders for some areas have already been finalised.

The Chennai Corporation is yet to develop a full-fledged entomological laboratory to test the efficacy of chemicals and prepare self-assessment reports of the existing mosquito problem.