Multiple vacant plots or premises under the custody of the state and central government institutions have turned into sites for mosquito breeding because their custodians did not clean these places, senior officials of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) have said.
The CMC’s vector control team, led by deputy mayor Atin Ghosh, visited the now-defunct Krishna Glass factory in Jadavpur on Monday. The 12-bigha plot is now under the custody of the public enterprises and industrial reconstruction department of the state government.
There were multiple plastic containers, garbage, and bottles strewn around the premises. Many of these looked like waste thrown by neighbours who could easily dump the waste as there was no boundary around the plot. G
Garbage strewn near the staff quarters of the Baghajatin State General Hospital.Bishwarup Dutta
A CMC official said that it doesn’t send a good message to the common people if the government is found to neglect public health concerns time and again.
“The entire premises is ideal for mosquito breeding. It is in such a state that we cannot even enter parts of the compound. There are snakes and our workers will exposed to the threat of snake bites,” said an official.
The CMC used a drone to spray larvicide over the inaccessible parts of the premises on Monday.
Ghosh said that repeated meetings were held with multiple departments of the state and union governments requesting them to keep their premises clean.
The officials representing the department promise to act but their words do not match ground reality.
“I will have to personally write to the chief minister now so that the premises are cleaned regularly,” Ghosh.
He added that it was not possible for the CMC alone to clean all vacant plots belonging to the government.
“The government has to lead by example but that is not happening,” said a CMC official.
An official of the public enterprises department said “they have taken up the matter to clean the premises”.
Ghosh also visited the Baghajatin State General Hospital on Monday.
Earlier on Friday, a CMC vector control team spotted mosquito-breeding sites at one of Bengal’s premier state-run hospitals, the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital. Close to 15,000 people visit the hospital every day. A ground that was locked was also a possible site of mosquito breeding as discarded materials were stacked there for months.
More than 3800 dengue cases have been reported in the city since January and 1100 of them were reported in seven days — between
the second and third week of December. Mayor Firhad Hakim said the sharp was a matter of concern.
An entomologist said that Aedes aegypti mosquito, the primary transmitter of the dengue virus, can breed in even a spoonful of water if it remains undisturbed for at least seven days. The egg laid can turn into an adult mosquito in seven to ten days, said the entomologist.
The CMC will visit another godown belonging to the state government on Tuesday.
An official said that large parts of the godown have become inaccessible and there could be multiple mosquito breeding sites inside.
“We will use a drone to spray larvicide on the premises,” said a CMC official.
Metro had earlier reported how piles of garbage had accumulated inside a railway land near the rail overbridge in Charu Market.
The waste had tea cups, green coconut shells and many other containers, all of which can turn into potential mosquito breeding sites.
Chief secretary H.K. Dwivedi chaired a meeting on Monday about the dengue situation in the state. The commissioner of CMC, district magistrates and other senior officials were present.
“He asked all municipal bodies to initiate legal action against the owner of premises where mosquito breeding sites are found, irrespective of whether they belonged to the governments or not,” said an official who was present in the meeting.