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Updated: June 5, 2013 15:22 IST

Residents swat, kill and curse mosquitoes

Aloysius Xavier Lopez
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These children in Chintadripet seem to have gotten used to smiling amidst the swarm of mosquitoes — Photo: M. Karunakaran
The Hindu
These children in Chintadripet seem to have gotten used to smiling amidst the swarm of mosquitoes — Photo: M. Karunakaran

Residents of many localities in the city have been braving swarms of mosquitoes over the past few days.

A number of the affected residents blamed construction sites, waterways and illegal sewer connections in stormwater drains, inadequate mosquito control operations and use of air conditioners as some of the reasons for the rise in number of mosquitoes.

Many residents alleged that many sanitary inspectors are not at work in the afternoon.

The civic body has planned various measures to cope with mosquito menace. Announcements on mosquito control are likely to be made as part of the budget announcement this month.

V. Saraswathi, a resident of Vyasar Nagar in Vyasarpadi, said “Mosquito menace has become intolerable even though there is no open drain or water-logged space in our locality. Nets too do not provide any respite. The local body authorities should take adequate action to solve this problem.”

“The Chennai Corporation has stopped mosquito control operations in big open spaces such as parks. Water bodies in Anna Nagar Tower Park have become breeding grounds of mosquitoes. I have not seen Corporation workers carrying out mosquito control operations in the past few weeks. Earlier, they used to clean the pond in the park regularly,” said I.G. Immanuel, of a commercial establishment in Anna Nagar.

A resident of a locality near Secretariat Colony in Ayanavaram said a very large piece of land belonging to Pachaiyappa Trust has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Water stagnation in the plot is a serious challenge to mosquito control. “We do not know what to do. Corporation officials say they cannot take action to prevent water stagnation and mosquito breeding as the land is over 200 acre,” he said.

“There are many such plots of lands owned by various trusts in the city. Waste water from illegal buildings gets accumulated in such lands,” he added.

“My son was affected by dengue three months ago. We spent Rs.11, 000 for treatment,” said P.Bavani, a resident of Shanmugam Street near Citicentre in Mylapore.

“They used to spray a pesticide to control mosquitoes. It was quite effective. Now, the practice has been discontinued. Even vehicles carrying out fogging operations rush past our locality. We are barely able to sleep at night,” said Mr. Bavani.

Many residents of such localities near Buckingham Canal voiced similar views.

“Construction sites are a major breeding source. Water is stagnant for curing to take place in construction sites. Around seven days is required for curing. Mosquito larvae need just five days to reach adulthood. Just 20 gram of bleaching powder in a litre of water is enough to prevent mosquito breeding in such areas,” said an entomologist.

Work in more than 15,000 construction sites is underway in the city.

Many residents do not know their air-conditioner too can be a breeding source of mosquitoes, he added.

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