The onus to contain dengue is not just on the government but on common people as well.
The message was given out in no uncertain terms at a rally on Saturday from Poura Bhavan to City Centre that had the top brass of the civic body, including mayor Krishna Chakraborty, and the Trinamul Congress district leadership walk together, led by Firhad Hakim, the urban development and municipal affairs minister who is also the mayor of Kolkata.
The walk that began at Poura Bhavan and ended in front of City Centre had participants holding out placards that had messages like “Keep your surroundings clean”, “Use mosquito nets and repellents” and “Do not store and let water stagnate in open containers”.
This walk was organised at a time when dengue cases are regularly being reported from across Salt Lake and its neighbouring areas off VIP Road, including Kestopur, Lake Town, Bangur, Baguiati, Teghoria and Kaikhali, among others.
According to sources at the civic body’s health department, there are around 311 active dengue cases that have been recorded across all 41 wards this week. Last week, the number stood at 326, the official said.
Another senior official of the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation’s health department said that these numbers are recorded only from the state government-run testing sites, hospitals and a couple that are run by the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation (BMC). “The numbers don’t take into account tests conducted at private testing centres and hospitals,” the official added.
There have been around six dengue deaths that have been recorded this year across all 41 wards of the civic body and at least six wards, including three in Salt Lake, have been labelled as dengue-prone areas.
At the rally dengue dos and don’ts were blared out from loudspeakers.
District Trinamul Congress leaders were also spotted walking in the rally apart from the local councillors including district president and minister Jyotipriyo Mullick. Aditi Munshi, the Rajarhat-Gopalpur MLA, and Tapash Chatterjee, the Rajarhat-New Town MLA, were also there.
Hakim in his address asked residents to be cautious and not be entirely dependent on the civic authorities to combat dengue.
“It is impossible for the civic authorities to keep an eye out on mosquito breeding grounds all by themselves. If you can keep the surrounding areas of your house clean, if you keep an eye out then we can fight this together,” Hakim said.
He also cautioned people to check their air-conditioning units regularly for stagnant water and to ensure that water did not turn stagnant in flower vases, pots and tubs.
Additional reporting by Snehal Sengupta