HYDERABAD: Though Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) claims to have spent lakhs of rupees to curb the mosquito menace in the city, the insects have multiplied manifold, leaving the denizens at their wit’s end as they find themselves at an increasing risk of getting infected with diseases like malaria, filariasis and dengue. Residents across the city complain that the Corporation has not been conducting fogging operations since the past several months.
Unfortunately, even as there is fear among the people, officials manning the Entomology Department of the GHMC appear oblivious to issue. The approach has been so pathetically sordid that a highly successful preventive measure such as fogging is not being done properly.
Officials come up with usual excuses such as ‘staff crunch’ and ‘lack of’ or ‘dysfunctional’ portable fogging machines. Fogging has not been conducted in most areas across the city.
The official data reveals that around 30 of the 141 portable fogging machines have been dysfunctional since several months.
The department has an outsourced workforce of 2,250 people. Most of them have been deputed to collect property tax. With no efforts being made to take up fogging activity, mosquitoes have multiplied.
“We face the mosquito issue in 365 days a year. We regularly complain about this to the officials concerned but no measures are being taken,” rues K. Padmavathi, a resident from Nagarjuna Nagar in Tarnaka.
Even as people across the city had been complaining about the mosquito menace, the Municipal Corporation continued to be in denial and claimed that the situation was under complete control.
When queried about this, Chief Entomology Officer V. Venkatesh said that February third week to April first week was the ideal period for mosquito breeding in the city. He said that the mosquito breeding will be rampant in areas in and around water bodies, including lakes, tanks and others. He said that 30 fogging machines had to undergo minor repairs.
When asked about the fogging operations, V Venkatesh said that Corporation had been conducting them on a regular basis and gathering 25 signatures from residents for additional proof. However, he said that the Corporation will look in to the matter and initiate stringent action on the field-level staff, if they are found getting involved in misappropriation.
Meanwhile, the GHMC officials claimed that the Corporation had spent about Rs 58,46,493 from January 1 to March 31, 2017 and Rs 15,80,000 from April 1 to August 1, 2017.
The civic body had spent Rs 22, 43,750 on Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis (BTI), Rs 11, 77,243 on Mosquito Larvicidal Oil (MLO), Rs 13,50,000 on Malathion technical material (MLT) and Rs 10,75,500 on Fethion from January 1 to March 31, 2017. In June 2017, it was around Rs 3, 50,000 for MLT and Rs 2, 28,000 for kerosene in July, 2017. The Corporation officials were reluctant to give the latest details....