Danger ahead: 302 mosquito breeding spots thrive in Mumbai
After the heavy downpour on June 19-20, the city has experienced a dry spell for over 10 days. This has led to an increase in the breeding areas of Anopheles mosquitoes across the city.
The BMC team collecting samples from areas with stagnant water
In the last 10 days, around 302 larvae-breeding spots have been spotted by the BMC. These larvae are of Anopheles malaria spreading mosquitoes. The civic body has said that if these spots are not cleared, it will take appropriate action.
The mosquitoes are usually found breeding in the water that collects in plastic covers over rooftops of slums. Car tyres are placed over the plastic covers to anchor these sheets on rooftops, and these, in turn, become mosquito-breeding areas due to water accumulation inside the rims
The place with the most mosquitoes-breeding spots was the G/South ward, Lower Parel, in the last 10 days with a total count of 50, followed by 32 spots in K/East ward, Andheri (East). Lower Parel has many under-construction buildings along with shuttered mills. These areas are prone to water accumulation and are becoming larvae-breeding areas.
A dilapidated soap factory at Mazgaon, a prime larvae-breeding area
Andheri (East) has a lot of slums, and is also an industrial area, making it a prime spot for mosquito breeding. The BMC team working on identifying these larvae-building areas includes 900 workers, 240 supervisors and 24 officers. The mosquito-prone areas in the city are near slum areas, malls, societies as well as dilapidated buildings.
The mosquitoes are usually found breeding in water collected in plastic covers over rooftops of slums. Car tyres are placed over the plastic covers to anchor these sheets on rooftops, and these in turn become mosquito-breeding areas due to water accumulation inside the rims.
Terraces of societies and construction sites are also prime mosquito-breeding areas. These spots start housing larvae if the water accumulates for over seven days.
R A Naringrekar, insecticide officer, BMC, said, “In the last 10 days there hasn’t been much rainfall, and, so, the water which has accumulated during the heavy showers is prone to support larvae breeding. Thus, in the past 10 days we have started to search for such breeding areas.”
“We mainly find these mosquitoes in slums, especially on rooftops with plastic covers where water accumulates. Tyres are placed on top of them so that the covers do not fly off; this just adds to the problem. Dilapidated buildings and mill areas also have larvae-breeding spots due to stagnant water accumulation,” he added.
The BMC has been trying to spread awareness regarding water accumulation in various areas of the city. “We have asked the residents to be more careful and not let water accumulate for longer periods of time. If we again find mosquito larvae breeding in the same locations as before, then we will issue a notice against the residents or societies, and prosecution shall take place,” said Naringrekar.
Ajoy Mehta, municipal commissioner, told mid-day: “People should clear areas where rainwater has accumulated. If they do not do so, despite reminders from the civic body, the BMC will take strong action.”
Two dengue cases in Kalanagar
Mohan Harshe (69), and his son, 42-year-old Sunil, both residents of Sahitya Sahawas Colony, near Kalanagar, Bandra (East) have tested positive for dengue. Subsequently, the BMC visited the area and identified two larvae breeding grounds in the society.
BMC authorities located a small pot and another bucket kept for wet umbrellas, which, they said, was a sustainable environment for the breeding of the Aedes mosquito, which causes the disease. The father-son duo has been their monitoring platelet counts and taking medication for dengue.
“The BMC inspected and found nothing in our house, but the colony was infested. Hence, they took the necessary action and cleared the vicinity. We are taking regular treatment and keeping a watch on our health,” said Uma, Sunil’s wife.
>> In 2014
9,068 malaria cases were recorded 16 succumbed to the disease
>> In 2010
76,755 malaria cases were recorded (the largest count so far) 145 succumbed to the disease
>> 50: Lower Parel
>> 32: Andheri (E)
>> 27: Malad (W)
>> 21: Byculla
>> 18: Bandra (W)