With monsoon setting in the capital, civic body officials are apprehensive of an outbreak of dengue and chikungunya as preventive measures to check vector-borne diseases have fallen short compared to previous years.
The MCDs employ domestic breeding checkers, who spray pesticides in drains, check water tanks for breeding and slap fines on households where larvae is found and water is stored for long periods. During this time of the year, they usually inspect 60-70 houses per day.
Data from the municipal corporations, which is collated by the South MCD, shows that house visits to check mosquito breeding this year has been 89,00,000 less than the previous year.
As per the data, between January 1 and the second week of July this year, only 80.54 lakh house visits were made as compared to 1.69 crore house checks in the same period last year. In 2018, this figure was at 1.68 crore and in 2017, the number of visits stood at 2.04 crore.
Similarly, the number of legal notices issued over mosquito breeding conditions from January to July 2019 was 38,294. This has come down to 11,942 until July 11 this year.
There has been a sharp fall in prosecutions against violators as well — from 2,660 until the second week of July last year to 106 in the same period this year.
The number of houses sprayed with disinfectants, however, saw only a marginal dip as compared to last year. While 3,44,539 houses were disinfected by this time last year, as many as 3,00,997 houses have been covered till the second week of July this year despite several workers being diverted to carry out Covid-control exercises.
A senior South MCD official said a major part of the workforce of the three MCDs, along with staff from other departments, have been deployed on the ground to carry out sanitisation, thermal scanning and door-to-door surveys.
North civic body mayor Jai Prakash said anti-mosquito operations have been intensified and even workers above 50 have been engaged, though they are not sent to hotspots. He said new awareness campaigns will be seen in the days ahead. He said when people did not allow workers to enter houses during the lockdown, the corporation got disinfectants delivered to some houses so that they can be used in tanks.
Narender Chawla, leader of the house in the South civic body, said officials have been told to begin the awareness campaign.
The capital had seen a dengue outbreak in 2015, with 15,867 reported cases. In 2016, the city saw an outbreak of chikungunya, with over 1,000 cases. Civic bodies had stepped up operations after that.
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