KOCHI: Cheranalloor panchayat on the outskirts of Kochi city is teeming with mosquitoes with waste piling up at every nook and corner. Residents are spending sleepless nights as the mercury levels are rising.
Activist Mohan Mangat-tusseri from Chittoor said that the wanton way of waste disposal by some residents is the root cause for the menace. “Many people come on bikes and cars to throw waste on the roadside though the panchayat has a waste collection mechanism. Despite CCTV cameras at these spots, the police and panchayat authorities don’t take action against the culprits resulting in them going scot-free and repeating the offence,” Mr Mangattusseri said.
K.P. Balakrishnan, another resident from Chittoor said that a reason for the situation getting out of control is absence of fogging.
“There are 8,000 houses in Cheranalloor panchayat and 90 per cent of the residents are forced to use mosquito repellents while others depend on mosquito nets. Average of two rooms in each house, out of the 7,200 houses, using one mosquito repellant each leads to daily cost of Rs 14,400 and monthly expenditure of a whopping Rs 4.32 lakh. This is only a conservative estimate. Many houses use many more daily and the real amount could be in the range of Rs 6 to 8 lakh and in year it could be Rs 1 crore since the waste and mosquito problems are perennial though it aggravates during December to April. The pollution and the health hazards such continuous use poses to people’s health is another issue,” said Mohan Mangattuseri.
Rexi Rodriguez, another resident of the area said that a representation to the secretary, president and grama sabha through the residents association regarding the mosquito menace and waste dumped on Kutty Sahib Road has not yielded any results. “We know that no action will be taken by the panchayat,” he said.
Cheranalloor panchayat health standing committee chairperson K.P. Sheeba said that larvicides are periodically sprayed into stagnant water including drainages. “However, when we stopped collecting uncleaned plastic recently due to problems at Brahmapuram, many of the residents started dumping organic waste by filling them in plastic carry bags onto the roadside, though we still collect organic waste and cleaned plastic waste. There needs to be a change in the attitude of the people,” she said.
“We have set up CCTV cameras and once the existing waste is removed from the roadsides, we will start catching the culprits,” Sheeba said. She also said that health officials have advised against fogging due to its adverse impact on vulnerable sections including children. “Only if dengue cases are reported we have permission to conduct fogging in that area,” Sheeba said....