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Fogging to kill mosquitoes or please public?

Special Correspondent
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The practice serves, little purpose but demands are increasing from public representatives and people

UNDER A CLOUD:Fogging may not be effective in open spaces where several factors like wind direction determines the results.— File photo
UNDER A CLOUD:Fogging may not be effective in open spaces where several factors like wind direction determines the results.— File photo

In the northern States, they are known as ‘vote catching machines'. Here in the capital there is no such sobriquet yet fact remains the fogging machines, meant to kill adult mosquitoes are more used to please the public and their representatives.

Every month, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) spends close to 35,000 litres of diesel and at least two crore of rupees to run 114 portable and 10 vehicle mounted fogging machines on the roads at different timings to tackle the mosquito menace.

Fact is the whole world is aware that fogging serves little purpose but somehow the demands have been only increasing from the MPs, MLAs, MLCs, corporators and even the general public seeking a thick fog to be enveloped in their respective areas.

Backtracked

“We have also been requested to increase the chemical (pyrethrum) dosage because it was felt the odour was not pungent enough. They backtracked only when explained about the danger to people when inhaled,” say senior officials.

Sure, fogging does work in the laboratory situation when the adult mosquitoes in the city like – Anopheles, Culex, Aedes, Armigeres and Mansonia, flop dead.

Mosquito density

But it may not be effective in open spaces and on main roads where several factors like wind direction determines the results. Efficacy also depends on the mosquitoes' density.

Average density of mosquitoes in the city measured by our 35 special teams is between low and medium (less than five or less than 10 mosquitoes caught by a person in an hour) rather than high – more than 20 mosquitoes. Senior officials insist that intense focus fogging is useful only when the density is high and whenever there is an outbreak of diseases. “If you study the record of mosquito borne diseases there are fewer incidences of Chikungunya, no indigenous case of Japanese Encephalities, drastic reduction of Dengue and a marginal increase in Malaria cases. No outbreaks, hence focus should be more on anti-larvicide preventive measures,” they point out.

No effect

All these factors had no effect on the clamour for fogging machines as there is a standing committee proposal to buy 10 vehicle mounted fogging machines!


  • GHMC spends Rs. 2 crore to run 114 portable and 10 vehicle mounted machines every month

  • “We were asked to increase chemical dosage as it was felt the odour was not pungent enough”



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