The uncontrolled mosquito menace, that is no longer seasonal, leaves the city vulnerable to vector-borne diseases as they see dengue and malaria cases all through the year, say doctors.
In the last few weeks during evenings, 70-year-old Rajagopalan, a resident of Nandanam, has been armed with a mosquito bat to ward off the menace in his house. Shutting the doors and windows even before sunset has yielded very little results. He says, “They manage to enter, even if you open the door for a second. Fogging was carried out in the area, but that too has very little effect.”
M Ahmed a resident of Ayanavaram has also been battling mosquitoes in vain. “We don’t see any fogging done and I have a three-year-old granddaughter, who bears most of the brunt,” he adds.
However, Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) officials say they have spared any effort to keep the city mosquito free.
S Selvakumar, Chief Vector Control Officer, says, “We have been focusing on source reduction in waterways for the last few weeks, apart from ensuring fogging activities during mornings and evenings, till the mosquito population reduces. However, we also need the help of people in this. In areas like Mambalam, we have people throwing garbage into the canal and nearby bridges, the trash affects the flow and creates clogs. Moreover, the weather now is congenial for a faster metamorphosis and the longevity of the mosquitoes have also increased,” he says.
Another Corporation official says that they have been targeting school students regularly, as part of awareness programmes on source reduction. The Centre for Science and Environment, has pointed out that fogging has little impact on controlling dengue and it adversely effects children and the elderly.