The Public Works Department of the state government tops a list of various government agencies that have been found to be negligent regarding prevention of mosquito breeding on their premises.
As many as 599 sites in PWD offices and buildings were found to be non-mosquito-proof.
An intensive survey was carried out by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) towards May-end, involving a survey of 14,961 tanks in 3,896 government buildings. It found 11.5 per cent cases negligent towards mosquito-breeding sites.
Of 1,370 buildings of the PWD, including staff quarters, offices and other buildings, 599 water tanks were found non-mosquito-proof.
The Central Railways (CR) ranked next with 418 non-mosquito-proof tanks found in 544 buildings of the railway’s staff quarters, offices, stations and other buildings. The Central PWD buildings were found to have 368 such possible breeding sites.
The survey took place after a notice to prevent mosquito breeding to avoid dengue infection was sent by BMC’s additional municipal commissioner to 10 government agencies in March. “This was a measure for monsoon preparedness. With rains, empty tanks provide favourable climate for Aedes Aegypti mosquito to breed,” said insecticide officer Dr Rajan Naringrekar.
Since January, 87 dengue cases were reported by civic health department. Aedes Aegypti mosquito is the only agent that transfers the virus and breeds mostly in fresh water.
“No one, not even government bodies can escape the responsibility. We have conveyed to all government bodies, including Army, Navy, Port Trust, that they need to ensure about dengue prevention. We will issue a notice if necessary and prosecution will be done,” said Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta.
Responding to The Indian Express, PWD Principal Secretary Ashish Kumar Singh said he was not aware of the BMC notice. “We will ensure the mosquito-breeding sites are monitored. The PWD has been engaged in three major roads — Western Express Highway, Eastern Express Highway and Sion-Panvel Road — to remove the problem of waterlogging,” he said.
The other government agencies found negligent in mosquito prevention are Western Railways, MHADA, Mumbai Port Trust, India Post, BSNL, Railway Police Force and Sports Foundation.
Maximum tanks in buildings controlled by Sports Foundation in Kandivli were found in poor maintenaince. Of 29 tanks in 16 buildings that they have, 18 tanks were found to have no anti-mosquito measures.
According to the insecticide department, the government agencies were approached repeatedly for preventing mosquito breeding. With poor response since March, a notice signed by BMC commissioner will now be issued to each department head of 10 agencies.