Madurai

Water hyacinth in Vaigai river breeds mosquitoes

The unabated spread of water hyacinth on Vaigai river near Kurivikaran Salai bridge poses a threat of vector-borne diseases.  

Madurai: Fast growth of water hyacinth, a fertile breeding ground for mosquitoes, in pools of stagnant sewage in Vaigai river near Kuruvikaran Salai bridge is posing a threat of outbreak of vector-borne diseases in nearby areas.

Swarms of mosquitoes have been entering the nearby residential areas right from 5 p.m. and giving the people sleepless nights for the past two weeks.

When Corporation workers began clearing water hyacinth last week, the people were happy that mosquito menace would soon come to an end. “But unfortunately, they left the work abruptly within a day,” complained M. Shanthi (53) of Thoomatti Rengasamy Lane.

P. Senthil (42) of Kondithozhu Lane said the abundant growth of water hyacinth was seen only in the last couple of weeks. “I cross Vaigai South Bank Road every day, and find that the density of mosquitoes has only increased in the last 10 days as the wild growth of water hyacinth has spread for nearly 100 feet on the pool of water,” he said.

The trickling sewage that runs closer to Vaigai South Bank Road has got a green cover for nearly 100 feet by 20 feet. Water is not visible in the downstream area.

Mr. Senthil said whenever water hyacinth spread on the riverbed mosquito menace became intolerable. “Riding the bike there in the evenings becomes a difficult task as the thick layer of mosquitoes hit our face,” he said.

Ms. Shanthi said all the houses in her neighbourhood were forced to seal the windows and the doors by 5 p.m. to prevent entry of mosquitoes. “With two fans and a mosquito repellent coil, we try to have a good sleep,” she lamented.

Another woman, R. Lakshmi (30), said liquid mosquito repellent had to be kept on even during evening hours. “One refill does not last more than 10 days,” she complained.

Many women in the neighbourhood claimed they had lost their peace of mind over mosquito menace. “Mosquitoes do not allow us to sit outside the house to have a chat with neighbours in the evenings. Every night we remain mostly awake, fighting mosquitoes,” deplored an aged woman.

Mr. Senthil said it was high time the Corporation authorities removed the water hyacinth. “It will be easier to remove them when there is less water. If it rains, the wild growth will only spread faster and make the situation worse,” he said.


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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 6:52:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/Water-hyacinth-in-Vaigai-river-breeds-mosquitoes/article16172733.ece

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