Mosquito Spurt Sparks Bidhannagar Dengue Fear

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kolkata: The sudden increase in the number of mosquitoes in the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation areas of Salt Lake and Rajarhat has residents fearing a repeat of the situation last year when nine persons died of dengue.

Civic officials said there is always an increase in the number of mosquitoes this time of the year when the temperature goes up. Officials assured they are taking all precautionary measures to control the problem. BMC had even held a meeting with officials, including MMIC (health) Pranoy Roy, on vector-borne diseases and on the ways to control mosquito breeding. “The immediate need is to prevent stagnation in Kestopur canal. We have sent letter to the irrigation department on this matter,” said Roy.

Residents, however, said the civic authorities need to pull up their socks on the preventive measures. “There is a sudden spurt of mosquitoes in these areas. We have no other option but to keep our doors and windows shut,” said Krishna Chakraborty, an elderly resident of IA Block.

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“It is already a menace in Sector III. We can’t step out of our houses after dark as the insects just swarm around you. So far, the spraying of larvaecides this year has been almost non-existent. Regular cleaning of the vacant plots is also needed,” said Tamal Pal, an IT executive and resident of HB Block.

“It is not that the civic authorities are not taking any measures, but the required amount of larvaecide is not being sprayed,” said Bidhannagar Welfare Association secretary Kumar Shankar Sadhu, a resident of GD Block.

“It is unfortunate that even after what happened last year, there is no visible initiative taken by the civic authorities to control breeding of mosquitoes. They must take some concrete steps to control this problem long-term. Just spraying larvaecide will not solve this problem,” said homoeopath Anamika Paira, a resident of CE Block.

The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA), in cooperation with residents, started a mosquito control programme to ensure that summer and monsoon are free of vector-borne diseases like dengue and malaria. NKDA officials said they will appoint an honorary entomologist to guide them in this endeavour.