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Dengue spreads in Kalina defence colony

Going by the current crisis, residents of Kalina’s defence colony have definitely seen better days.

The residents of the Military Engineer Services (MES) colony at Kalina are living under a constant threat of dengue fever. Over the last month alone, more than six residents suffered from the disease — a number which is only expected to rise.

MES colony in Kalina
A resident of the MES colony in Kalina points at the thicket behind one of the buildings, which is a breeding ground for mosquitoes

Dengue patients in MES colony, Kalina, belong to varied age groups — John Prakash Walmiki (16), Krutika Santosh Palande (18), Vikas Rane (22), Meena Jadhav (50) and K B Bogatti (53) are a few who were diagnosed with dengue over the past month. Seventeen year-old Ashish Kesarkar had fever but was later diagnosed with dengue, and was reported to have a low platelet count. According to local residents, two more patients, both girls, are under treatment for high fever.  are no stagnant water bodies in the MES colony. Three dilapidated buildings and bushes around the buildings are suspected to be a breeding ground for the mosquitoes carrying the often-fatal fever. Fortunately, all the patients received timely treatment and no casualties have been reported from the area.

The colony comprises 14 buildings, and four are dilapidated and have been vacated over time. A senior citizen, a resident since decades, told SMD on condition of anonymity, that since the colony is built on army land, the office of the Garrison Engineer, North division looks after its maintenance. There is a reserved maintenance fund for such colonies but only the defence quarters for staff in uniform gets priority and other resident buildings are often neglected, said the senior citizen.

According to residents, dry bushes have spread all over the colony and the backyards of several buildings need to be cleaned. Several complaints to the concerned authority have not helped. Residents claim that every alternate building has a dengue patient. Efforts such as using nets, anti-mosquito spray, liquids, coils and insect killer rackets have proved futile, too. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) sprayed the area with anti–dengue mosquito solution a fortnight ago, but that clearly has not helped matters in this area.

Manisha Mhiaskar, additional municipal commissioner, BMC, said, “The BMC fumigates areas, but dengue-causing mosquitoes breed in fresh water used for domestic purposes, too.” 

Voices
I was diagnosed with fever on September 24. But later, blood tests revealed that I had dengue
-- John Prakash Walmiki, Sixteen year-old college student and MES colony resident

I was diagnosed with fever a month ago. I was first treated by my family physician, but, finally, I had to get admitted to a government hospital
-- Meena Jadhav, Fifty year-old MES colony resident, who was discharged on Friday night. Pics/Sunil Tiwari

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