MADURAI With just four vehicle-mounted fogging machines shared by 100 wards, the city is not getting fogged enough thereby the Corporation is putting the city residents at the peril of mosquito bites.
While the in-built limitation of moving the vehicles slowly for effective fogging makes each machine cover only 20 streets in one hour, the workers not taking up fogging activity in the evening, as mandated by the Corporation, adds to the woes.
Fogging is carried out occasionally, said A. Saravanan, a resident of Reserve Line.” “First, they do not even come once in 15 days, and even when they come, they do not venture into narrow streets. Moreover, fogging during the evenings would be more effective instead of in the wee hours,” he said.
For narrow streets, workers use hand-held devices to fog in which malathion, a pesticide, is mixed with diesel at a ratio of 1:19.
However, Chairperson of Zone I S. Vasuki complained that it had been a month since she saw workers using hand-held devices, which are more effective in killing mosquitoes than the vehicles.
For BJP Councillor of ward 86 Pooma Janasri Murugan, it was a struggle to get workers to use the devices in her ward to fog in places where mosquito breeding is largely prevalent namely “Irulappan Koil Street, Thiraviyalinga Koil Street, especially alongside Kiruthumal river.”
While AIADMK Councillor of ward 45 K. Shanmugavalli noted that similar situations prevail at Chinna Kanmoi and Kamarajapuram, M. Mugesh Sharma, Zone III Chairperson added Mathichiyam in ward 30 and Santhaipettai in ward 43 to the list.
A common woe put forth by both residents and councillors was choked drainage that led to sewage to burst out of manholes and stagnate on roadsides acting as convenient breeding places for pesky mosquitoes.
“The roads dotted with craters hold rainwater, even after light rains, again acting as breeding places for them,” said N. Vijaya, CPI(M) Councillor of ward 96 and resident of Harveypatti.
Meanwhile, a corporation field staff engaged in fogging activity in Zone I said his team members cover 20 streets in a day with a continuous an hour run time between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. since we have to pace through the streets at a walking speed to get the maximum result.
He said that a ward will be covered only once in 15 days, which many councillors and residents flagged as inadequate.