Open plots and locked houses, a challenge for civic authorities

Littering of vacant plots continues to be a challenge for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) which is unable to devise an effective strategy against the problem ahead of the Dengue season.

City has more than 5,000 open plots spread across its 4,800-plus colonies. Garbage dumped by neighbours and passers by, when coupled with rainwater, becomes fertile ground for breeding of Aedes aegypti mosquito which spreads the dreaded Dengue fever.

As the premises belong to private persons, cleaning is not taken up by GHMC. Sore spots staining the cityscape, the plots also become hotspots for spread of the disease in the colonies where they are located.

GHMC Commissioner D. S. Lokesh Kumar, during his Pattana Pragathi review meeting recently, has reportedly instructed the Town Planning officials to identify the plots which have become garbage dumps and take necessary action. He is said to have issued orders to serve notices on the owners and slap penalties if needed.

While it is not known how many notices have been issued to the owners, the vacant plots continue to be littered with impunity, before, during and after Pattana Pragathi.

“Several of the owners reside abroad, which makes it difficult for us to issue notices. We did try to contact them by obtaining their contacts from neighbours wherever available, but not much benefit came of that,” shared an official.

Added to the vacant plots are locked independent houses, around which shrub growth and littering becomes a major issue during Dengue season. During a survey a year ago, GHMC has identified more than 16,000 houses across the city which were locked without proper maintenance.

Residents associations

Working in coordination with the colony welfare associations is the only option open to the civic authorities in addressing the scourge of littering, and not many associations are forthcoming in cooperating with them. Inactive ward committees and area committees do not help.

GHMC has issued a list of precautionary measures to the citizens against the spread of seasonal and infectious diseases in the wake of rains in the city.

Clean surroundings

As a preventive measure, one should empty the possible containers of rainwater, which include discarded tyres, coconut shells, unused rolls, plates at the bottom of flowerpots, plastic cups, broken earthen pots, old refrigerators, coolers and cement tanks to name a few.

Gestation period of Aedes mosquito is about 8-10 days, hence, the breeding places should be cleared once every week.

Use mosquito nets, wear full clothes and apply mosquito repellent on the skin during evening, a communique from GHMC urged. Planting of Krishna Tulasi, lemon grass and Addarasam in or around the house would repel mosquitoes, it said.

GHMC is carrying out targeted anti-larval operations and fogging, besides awareness campaigns, it said.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2022 6:21:15 am |