The Salt Lake civic body on Tuesday launched a clean-up drive across the township.
Conservancy workers did what they should have been regularly doing: remove solid waste from streets across all three sectors.
A senior official of the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) health department said the drive was undertaken to ensure that waste lying on streets and garbage lying on vacant plots don’t turn into breeding grounds for the dengue-causing Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Public health experts have repeatedly said that ensuring cleanliness and preventing accumulation of waste were key vector-control measures in the fight against dengue as the Aedes mosquito can breed in even a coin-sized blob of water.
The Telegraph has reported on several occasions that the streets and blocks of Salt Lake are dotted with garbage, which contains used cups and glasses, Styrofoam trays and sanitary ware. All these can turn into mosquito-breeding sites if water accumulates in them.
The stretch opposite Calcutta University’s Salt Lake campus and the road in front of City Centre, adjacent to Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 1, were among the stretches that were cleaned on Tuesday.
“We have been asked to remove all garbage and sweep the streets. Even dry leaves have to be removed from the roads,” said a civic worker outside the CU campus.
Dengue cases are being reported from across the township.
The blocks along canals have turned into dengue hotspots. Among the affected pockets are AB, AC, AD, AE, AG, AH, AJ and SA Blocks, which are along the Kestopur canal; EE, DL, CL, BL, KC and IC Blocks, which are along the Eastern Drainage Canal; and housing complexes like Jal Vayu Vihar and Mahavir Vikas, an official in the civic body's health department said.
Banibrata Banerjee, mayoral council member in charge of the BMC’s health department, said: “Last week, there were 426 active dengue cases in the township. This week the number has dropped to 306. We are spraying larvicide in all blocks and have joined hands with the solid waste management departmentof the civic body in fighting dengue.”
Many residents this newspaper spoke to said they were forced to keep their doors and windows shut throughout the day and night to keep mosquitoes away and prevent contracting dengue.
Parthasarathi Chakraborty, a techie who lives in AE Block, said he was keeping a can of mosquito repellent handy, while electric mosquito repellents were kept on in all rooms of his two-storey house without a break.
“Several of my neighbours are down with dengue and we are being extremely cautious. We are thinking of installing mosquito screens on all windows this week,” Chakraborty said.