Kochi: Although the company authorities blame the public for the increase in the number of mosquitoes, the city’s residents’ associations are of the opinion that the civic body’s botched efforts to clean up the breeding sources of the larvae such as sewers and waterlogged areas helped mosquitoes spread and grow.
Rangadasa Prabhu, chairman of the supreme council of the Ernakulam District Residents’ Association, said residents of the town had seen the number of mosquitoes increase as preventive measures including insecticide spraying and sweeping operations misting, were not effective. “Even small mosquito nets and mosquito rackets do not offer protection because these mosquitoes are quite small. The authorities should clean the drains with salt water. Stagnant water is the breeding ground for mosquitoes. We cannot fight against the threat without ensuring a smooth flow of water in drains and other bodies of water The method of removing stagnant water from drains using salt water was very effective while it was experienced in the city two years ago,” he said.
With the cooperation of the authorities, residents’ associations can easily handle the problem, says KS Dileep, chairman of Ernakulam Development Board and TD Road Residents’ Association.
“Big cities like Chennai handle the threat of mosquitoes better. Here, society authorities should join forces with residents’ associations to ensure that sewers are cleaned and take strict measures against dumping waste in places. Public health inspectors should monitor the cleanup work being done by the company. We need to start a cleanup operation of all the drains,” he said.
Anoop Mathew of the Kent Illam Homeowners Residents Association in Vennala said the authorities were unwilling to launch effective mosquito eradication programmes. “Despite the soaring temperatures, the area continues to witness a high density of mosquitoes. Our residents ensure that mosquito breeding sources are not created within the premises of our residences. But we have limits in the cleaning of common places,” he said, adding that the lack of prior preparation on the part of the civic body is the cause of the increase in the number of mosquitoes.
Hawkins George, president of the Skyline Salova Residents Association, said several drains in the area had not been cleaned in the past 15 years. “It is very difficult to go out after 5 p.m. because of mosquito bites. Their numbers have increased alarmingly. Authorities should find a scientific solution instead of relying on ineffective methods such as misting,” a- he declared.