The water-logged areas in the city are providing ample breeding ground for mosquitoes. But steps to control them received one more jolt this past week with the sole fumigation machine in the possession of the City Corporation falling into a state of disrepair. It is now lying idle in front of the old Corporation building.
The machine’s knob was damaged and the Corporation authorities are now scrambling to get a replacement for it. Speaking to The Hindu, Corporation Health standing committee chairperson Janamma Kunjunni said that the machine would be brought back to working condition as soon as possible.
“The machine’s spare parts are not available in the State. Last week, we had sent personnel to Coimbatore to procure the knob. But it was not available there. Now we came to know that it is available in Pune. It will take a few more days to bring it here and get the machine back to working condition,” said Ms. Kunjunni.
The Corporation does not possess a single manual fogging machine.
“As part of this year’s plan, we had suggested buying 20 manual fogging machines. An amount of Rs. 40 lakh had been earmarked for the same. But the District Planning Committee did not approve it. Also, it is said that the machine has only a short lifetime,” she said.
Shortage of workers
There is also a shortage of sanitation workers in the Corporation. At present, there are 732 workers. An order had been issued to temporarily appoint 100 more workers, she said.
The workers said that fumigation was effective only in pre-monsoon disease prevention drives.
The number of fever cases has shot up in the district ever since the onset of monsoon. As per the latest data from the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project, since June 1 a total of 13,421 viral fever cases have been confirmed in the district. There have also been 23 dengue cases, 13 cases of malaria and two instances of leptospirosis.
Ms. Kunjunni said that the co-operation of the public was needed to fight diseases during monsoon.