Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mosquito menace gives Chennaites sleepless nights


By G Saravanan
Chennai, January 26:
Despite Chennai Corporation’s tall claims that mosquito menace had been contained in the city by its continued remedial measures, there have been a spurt in such complaints from different parts of the metropolis in the past few weeks.
According to sources, out of total complaints registered at the Corporation’s Helpline number (1913), about sixty percent were on mosquito-related problems.
The statistics also revealed that most of the cases of mosquito menace were being from Velachery, Mylapore, Ashok Nagar, Adyar and most parts of the North Chennai.
“The situation in North Chennai, especially for those living close to clogged canals and drains, is terrible and even the mosquito repellents are not making any change,” rued Maheswari, a resident of Kodungaiyur.
Few months ago when there were hue and cry from people on the menace, the civic body conducted a massive fogging and spraying programme to arrest the problem, but nothing seems to be happening nowadays even after several repeated complaints on density, said another resident from Mylapore.
Not only winged visitors affect the residential areas with their existence, there are several office complexes in the city, which are also feeling their presence and shell out huge money on repellents.
Though people contend that density of mosquitoes have originally increased in the recent weeks (after the end of rainy period), officials at Ripon Building maintain that it has actually declined below 30 per ten-man hour.
The civic body selects 10 different spots based on complaints and the mosquito density was arrived at by dividing the total number of mosquitoes caught by the number of minutes taken to catch them. The result obtained through the process is multiplied by 600 minutes (10 man-hours).
According to an official, when the Corporation health department conducted a survey few weeks ago at 10 selected locations from all zones, it was 56 per ten-man hour, but a similar survey done recently showed that it has declined to mere 24, which according to them is low.
Besides, the department has also identified 120 mosquito nuisance spots (based on rampant complaints) across the city and intense fogging and spraying are being done (at these spots) to kill mosquitoes at larvae level.

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