Illustration/Uday Mohite
Illustration/Uday Mohite

Since January this year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been a buzzkill for all the right reasons. According to data from the civic body's Insecticide Department, it has inspected 58.50 lakh homes to check breeding spots for mosquitoes causing dengue and malaria and destroyed about 8,000 such spots across the city till the first week of July. It hasn't stopped at inspection alone, collecting Rs 20 lakh in fines from citizens and housing societies charged in mosquito breeding cases.

The action was taken in the last seven months. During the inspection, BMC found mosquito breeding and larvae at 7,992 spots.

Notices issued
As per the data, the civic body issued 8,744 notices (from January to June) to individuals and societies under section 381-B (prohibition of mosquito breeding in collection of water on any land) of Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act seeking an explanation for the breeding spots. An official from BMC said, "Following these notices, we impose a penalty on the ignorant and regular offenders that do not follow instructions and allow mosquito breeding in their premises. Also, in many cases, if a person or the society does not improve itself, then we go ahead with prosecution in the metropolitan magistrate court."

Pricking offenders
From January to June, the insecticide department has initiated prosecution in 432 cases. Moreover, they have collected Rs 20 lakh in fines from errant citizens and societies in Dengue and malaria mosquito breeding cases. Under the MMC Act, penalties ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000 can be levied for inaction on mosquito breeding spots.

Speaking to mid-day, insecticide officer Rajan Naringrekar said, "We are taking all possible measures to mitigate dengue and malaria. For dengue, in a majority of cases, mosquito breeding takes place in water that gets accumulated for more than a week in small containers or flowerpots. It is very difficult to go and inspect each and every house, so we appeal to citizens to keep checking for such odd articles where mosquito larvae could breed."

Check stray spots
He added, "We should keep a check on odd articles thrown near our houses like tyres, containers, coconut shells, drums, tanks, etc. and destroy them immediately as aedes mosquitoes lay eggs in such water. Also, several times, big housing societies do not allow our staff to enter their premises for inspection. Their cooperation will also help curb dengue and malaria more strongly."