The danger of malaria and dengue outbreak looms large over the Capital city as mosquito menace has been rising in several parts, thanks to negligence of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Health Department.
Majority of the residential areas have been complaining of rising mosquito infestation since sanitation measures have become virtually absent. Besides, mosquito control measures are non-existent.
According to BMC sources, 40 to 50 mosquitoes per cubic feet is considered safe. But the mosquito density has gone up to more than 80 per cubic feet.
The problem is grave in residential areas located close to water bodies, drainage channels and also major slum pockets where sanitation is next to nil. Areas like Old Town, Rasulgrah, Jayadev Vihar and commercially vibrant pockets like Unit III are facing acute problem.
The BMC cites lack of manpower to control the mosquito menace. It currently has on deputation only one malaria inspector and 14 sanitation inspectors from the Health Department. “If the Health Department gives us more persons and allows us to have the malaria and sanitation inspectors under our pay roll, we can take better measures,” said BMC Mayor AN Jena. The corporation is planning to undertake extensive fogging exercise from next week, he added. Another problem is the chemical used for anti-larvae drive. BMC sources said four years back, the malaria larvicide (ML) oil had to be discontinued after a case was filed against the producers of the oil in the High Court citing poor quality. Following Health Department’s instructions, ML oil was eventually replaced with anti-larvae spray (Temephos) which has been found to be ineffective against the mosquito breeding.
Temephos is being used for the past four years but ideally the chemical used in the anti-larvae drive should be changed on a regular basis as the larvae and the mosquitoes develop immunity to a particular chemical.