It’s dengue season in Bengaluru and the number of recorded cases has already exceeded 5000. This accounts for about 65% of the cases recorded across the state. Part of the blame lies with the BBMP. Piles of garbage, in which rain water forms stagnant pools, are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Garbage collection is well below par, as is the city’s ability to drain out rain water.
Razia, who lives behind Tawakal Mastan Dargah in Cottonpet, took ill quite suddenly. Finally, she collapsed and was rushed to a hospital, where the doctors confirmed dengue, after a round of blood tests. Razia was bedridden for another 15 days, as hospital bills mounted. The cause of her illness was not hard to spot: the ‘black spot’ was beside her house. “People dump garbage there because they lack civic sense. BBMP workers never bothered to clean it up, either.” Her house, she laments, “is filled with the stench from the garbage heap and with mosquitoes.”
Sentil Murugan (name changed on request), lives in Uttarahalli and runs a factory, which is near his house. His office, which is in the vicinity of vacant plots, is ridden with mosquitoes. He too, fell severely ill. “I became very weak and was rushed to hospital. My platelet count was dangerously low, just 25,000 (the ideal platelet count is between 1,50,000 and 4,00,000). Doctors kept me under constant observation and managed to cure me without having to resort to a platelet infusion,” Murugan says. The week’s treatment, however, set him back by a good `40,000. “The money I earn in a month was gone on a week of treatment. My business took a severe beating too,” he rues.
There are many cases like these, which could have been averted by prompt civic administrative action, through timely garbage collection and clean storm water drains.”
Far from keeping dengue at bay, BBMP continues to struggle with the basics – door-to-door garbage collection. Now, the Palike has chosen to pin its hopes on the new garbage tenders, where wet and dry waste will be collected separately. They hope this will be enough to weed out the black spots.
‘People must cooperate, keep their own spaces clean’
Dengue cases are on rise. People blame garbage piles that haven’t been cleared, which include, coconut shells, plastic boxes and other items in which rainwater collects and mosquitoes breed...
We have been doing out best to clear the garbage and blackspots. For anything to become a success we need the support of people. In many areas, people are not aware of the mosquito breeding spots. During our inspection, we found that many people don’t close their tanks, creating excellent breeding grounds for mosquitoes. People should also do their bit to help us curb dengue.
Is the BBMP creating enough awareness to educate the people?
Yes. We have been doing our awareness campaigns. Our officials go on rounds in their respective areas, educating people about the dangers of leaving stagnant water unattended to and how it can be a breeding spot for mosquitoes. If people pitch in too, we can curb the spread of mosquitoes carrying dengue.
BBMP health wing officials cite a staff shortage to take up fogging all over the city...
We have amped up fogging in areas where there are a high number of dengue cases. Four extra men have been recruited for the purpose. Fogging is being done across the city, however.