Special Correspondent

In the wake of chikungunya outbreak in Vizhinjam

Thiruvananthapuram: The City Corporation Council on Wednesday decided to intensify vector control activities to check the spread of chikungunya.

An official resolution moved by the Health standing committee chairman G.R. Anil said the Health department had confirmed the outbreak of the disease at Vizhinjam. Similar cases were being reported from other parts of the city, he said.

Pointing out that the disease was transmitted by the Aedes species of mosquito, which breeds in freshwater, the resolution stressed the need to step up vector control. It called for an awareness campaign to prevent water logging.

The council decided to constitute 110 special squads in 41wards identified as vulnerable to the spread of chikungunya virus. Each squad would be provided with a pump to spray larvicide. Apart from the 60 sanitation workers under the corporation, 50 daily wage workers would be pressed into service. The campaign would start on September 1. The resolution was adopted unanimously.

A meeting convened by Mayor C. Jayan Babu on Tuesday finalised an action plan to control the chikungunya threat.

The meeting was informed that the coastal wards were most vulnerable to the disease. Special squads comprising Health Inspectors, Anganwadi workers, mosquito control workers, volunteers and representatives of residents associations would visit the houses. Each squad would be assigned a cluster of 100 houses.

Clean City Campaign

The council meeting also decided to extend the Capital City Clean City campaign to more wards in a phased manner. Nineteen wards would be brought into the programme in the second phase from October 6.

These include Muttada, Pangode, Pettah, Palkulangara, Manacaud, Peroorkada, Nedumcad, Kuriyathi, Perunthanni, Kanhirampara, Chacka, Mudavanmugal, Sreevarahom, Kamaleswaram, Attukal, Kalady, Vattiyoorkavu, Thirumala and Beemapally.

Mr. Anil told the meeting that the lessons imbibed from the pilot project would prove useful in the second phase. He said all the 86 wards in the city would be covered by the second week of February 2007.

The discussion on the issue witnessed allegations of bias in the selection of wards for the project. Several councillors alleged that the coastal wards had been left out of the scheme.

The failure to resolve the impasse in taking up the project in the Secretariat ward resulted in a war of words between the Treasury and Opposition benches.

UDF members accused the ruling front of using the project to subserve political interests. Deputy Mayor V.Jayaprakash said the dispute over distribution of the workforce for Kudumbasree volunteers was defying a solution.

Rounding off the discussion, the Mayor called for a give-and-take approach from both sides to find a solution to the dispute. He warned that the Corporation would have to enforce a decision if the problem persisted.