Kochi:The Kochi Corporation claims that it can continue with its mosquito eradication programme at a much lower cost thanks to better strategy and technology. The annual bill of Rs 1.5 crore for mosquito eradication is now down to Rs 20-25 lakh.
The city, notorious for its mosquitoes, has seen effective waste management and mosquito eradication programmes in the last two years which have helped in controlling the menace at a much lower cost than previously.
“Two major initiatives that helped to cut down the cost of mosquito control measures are introduction of handheld sprayers and use of new, more effective chemicals for spraying. The health department has formed a special anti-mosquito squad of 148 workers at a daily wage of Rs 240, to make the drive more effective. Earlier, there were no permanent workers and the corporation had to spend huge amounts for contract workers,” said corporation health standing committee chairman T.K. Ashraf.
Introduction of handheld spraying machines instead of the traditional fogging machines mounted on auto rickshaws, also helped in cost cutting. The cost of fuel for a big fogging machine was more than Rs 300 per day.
“For the last two years, we could bring down the annual expense for the mosquito eradication drive to Rs 20-25 lakh and there is a considerable decrease in parasite menace. One of the major expensive components of the anti-mosquito drive was chemical for fogging. We focused on eradicating the mosquitoes from their breeding grounds with less quantity of chemical. Using the small handheld spraying machines, the workers could remove the insects from the remotest source of breeding,” Ashraf claimed.
Mosquitoes usually bre-ed immediately after the monsoon and action at the right moment helped control the menace. Several Kochiites admit that the menace is more under control compared to what it has been over the years.