Hyderabad: Every family spends around Rs 2,000 to overcome the mosquito menace in the residential areas inside the Golconda fort as well as at Tolichowki.
Their arsenal for the daily battle typically comprises a combination of repellent coils, special agarbattis with fancy names like Dragon and Godzilla, ointments, killer bats, bed nets and mesh/screens for doors and windows. Besides, there are medical expenses if anyone catches malaria, dengue or chikungunya.
Irrespective of whether it is a kirana store, a bakery, a pan shop, or a stationery store, all of them stock mosquito fighting equipment.
The mosquito menace in these areas is a round-the-year feature with several water bodies in the areas in addition to the moat around the fort. All it takes is someone in the house forgetting to shut all windows and doors before sunset for the house to be swarmed.
Abdur Rahman of Golconda said unlike children in other areas in Hyderabad, "Our children can't study at night due to the mosquitoes. If we forget to close doors after sunset, swarms of mosquitoes enter the house and for this mistake, we have to take extra measures and spend half an hour swatting mosquitoes. We have to ensure we have enough money for medical needs for treatment as our children fall ill frequently because of mosquito bites."
He suspects the two ponds in the nearby golf course as breeding grounds for mosquitoes. These ponds, according to him, are in addition to the water bodies in and around the fort area including Katora Houz, Jamali Kunta, Shah Hatim Talab, Langer Houz Talab, Naya Qilla ka Talab. Likewise, the major open Nalas like Balkapur Nala, Gulshan Colony Nala and Moti Darwaza Nala.
Abdullah who sells mosquito bed nets on the footpath at Qutub Shahi tombs, said, "My main business is selling mobile phone accessories, but I noticed there is a demand for the nets. I started selling different kinds of nets ranging from Rs 200 to Rs 750. Somedays, I sell more than five nets.”
Shazia Shabbir Taher of Al-Hasnat Colony said, “You will find all kinds of mosquito repellents in our area as these repellents do not suit everyone. In our family, some use an ointment, while others are allergic to it. We frequently change brands of mosquito-killing coils as mosquitoes develop immune to particular repellent ingredients.”
According to the doctors of Area Hospital, Golconda, the cases of malaria and dengue are not reported from the fort area. Dr M. Gopal, medical superintendent. said, "The main reason for the decrease in cases is maintaining hygienic after Covid-19. Last month 234 patients were tested and only two were dengue positive and there have been no case of malaria in the previous months."