Officers in all nine divisions of Calcutta police have been asked to perform the mandatory mechanical test on vehicles involved in accidents at the earliest so they do not remain parked at police stations longer than required.
The directive, issued by the city police headquarters at Lalbazar, is aimed at reducing mosquito-breeding sites and containing the spread of dengue, officers said.
The directive has also asked senior officers to take steps to ensure that vehicles seized after an accident are handed to their owners at the earliest after completing all formalities.
The officers have also been asked to ensure that the police stations and the barracks under their control remain clean.
The missive asks officers to keep an eye on flower pots, tanks, terraces and drains, as part of the dengue-prevention drive.
Water tends to accumulate in these spots and in vehicles that remain parked for days, turning them into mosquito-breeding sites.
For weeks the city and adjacent districts have been witnessing a steady rise in the number of patients testing positive for dengue, a disease that is spread by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
Such mosquitoes can lay eggs even in a spoonful of water. Adult mosquitoes emerge a week after eggs are laid if the water remains undisturbed, public health experts have said.
The police stations were earlier asked to shift seized vehicles to prevent accumulation of water in dents on roofs or bonnets.
Metro reported on September 18 that the Calcutta municipal area alone had reported 800 fresh dengue cases in just one week.
“At a crime conference a few days back, police commissioner Vineet Kumar Goyal had asked all officers to ensure police stations were well maintained to prevent accumulation of water,” said a senior officer.
“Accordingly, a reminder has been sent to officers in all nine divisions of the city police in the wake of the recent spurt in the number of dengue cases.”
Several officers told this newspaper that seized vehicles awaiting the mechanical test were the biggest water-accumulation sites. The recent spell of intermittent showers has made the situation even more challenging and hence the directive to officers to conduct the mechanical tests as early as possible.
“Performing a mechanical test on a vehicle involved in an accident is one of the key formalities in the investigation into the accident,” said a senior police officer in the south-east division.
Each of the nine divisions has at least two to three officers trained in performing mechanical tests of accident-hit vehicles and finding out whether any snag had resulted in the accident.
Several hospitals said there has been a rise in the number of dengue patients turning up for admission.
Senior officers said several Calcutta police personnel have tested positive for dengue in recent times.
CMC officials said dengue infections start rising from late August or early September and the spike sustains till November. “The numbers are likely to rise further in the coming days,” said an official.