Hyderabad

GHMC employing drones to rid Musi of mosquitoes

A drone spraying anti-larval chemical and bio enzymes in Gurunatha lake of Miyapur.

A drone spraying anti-larval chemical and bio enzymes in Gurunatha lake of Miyapur.  

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Anti-larval chemicals to be sprayed at select breeding points

An ingenious idea implemented in the West Zone of GHMC for eradication of mosquitoes and larvae from lake, with the help of drones, is all set to be replicated along the Musi River.

On an experimental basis, GHMC Commissioner M. Dana Kishore has asked the Entomology wing to use drones to spray anti-larval chemicals in the mosquito-breeding points inside the river in the coming days. Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Dana Kishore said a total of 11 breeding points have been identified on the 5-km stretch of the river between Nagole and Attapur, where the spraying will be done on pilot basis. If successful, the same will be replicated in other parts of the river.

“It is difficult for the entomology staff to reach some inaccessible regions in the river to spray the anti-larval chemical. Using drones will address this problem,” Mr. Dana Kishore said, even while acknowledging the limitation caused by flowing water, which necessitates continual spraying.

The initial experiment of using drones for vector control was carried out for Gurunatha Lake in Miyapur, which has become fertile breeding ground for mosquitoes owing to choking presence of water hyacinth weed.

Labour-intensive

“Eradication of mosquitoes and removal of weed are labour-intensive processes, which would have taken 10 workers spending about 15 mandays to cover the lake expanse. After watching pesticides being sprayed on fields using drones in Guntur district, it had occurred to me to employ the same technique for cleaning the lake of larvae,” said Commissioner, West Zone, D. Hari Chandana.

A custom-made 10 litres drone fitted with bio-enzymes with weedicidal properties, and also Pyrethrum herbal chemical for mosquito eradication was flown over the 16-acre water body. The drone released up to 112 litres of spray over one day.

While death of water hyacinth is yet to be confirmed, the anti-larval spray has yielded immediate results. Mosquito larval density has come down from 41 per litre of water to 28, while adult mosquitoes have reduced to 16 from 26 in just two days, Ms. Hari Chandana said.

A full-fledged manual operation would have cost ₹ 20 lakh, but now it has been achieved by hiring a drone for ₹ 30,000, she said.

Inaccessible points

Mr. Dana Kishore, during a review meeting with Entomology officials on Saturday, was informed that the 42 Entomology teams with 126 workers are covering the Musi stretch between Chaderghat and Attapur, yet have been unable to reach the deeper pockets in the river. The Commissioner then issued immediate instructions to replicate the drone experiment in the river too.

Mr. Dana Kishore also issued instructions for observing every Friday as ‘Dry Day’, when containers will be emptied of stored water in households. Among other measures, the 642 teams of Entomology will pay door-to-door visits, identify the mosquito breeding points, and remove stagnant water.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 7:24:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/ghmc-employing-drones-to-rid-musi-of-mosquitoes/article26689828.ece

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