BMC has got 30 complaints about mosquitoes from south Mumbai
The BMC health department on June 4 dashed off a letter to the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRC) telling them to look into the matter immediately
After the families of babus living in the Mantralaya precinct were laid low by the mosquito-borne dengue and malaria viruses, 12 metro construction workers in the area, too, have now been diagnosed with malaria and dengue. The BMC health department on June 4 dashed off a letter to the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRC) telling them to look into the matter immediately.
The letter also stated that BMC staffers were putting their lives at risk by trying to reach inaccessible areas in the Metro pits to drop pesticide in them.While the Mumbai metro celebrated five years of its service in the city on June 8, its expansion has now turned into a nightmare for some city-dwellers. The metro construction opposite Vidhan Bhavan in South Mumbai has led to its workers and locals in the area falling prey to vector-borne diseases. As many as 12 workers have been diagnosed with malaria and dengue in the last one month. Two of them are undergoing treatment at St George Hospital. While the insecticide branch of the BMC's health department has received around 30 mosquito-related complaints from the area, no solution has been found as the breeding grounds are inaccessible.
"We meet construction workers suffering from dengue and malaria every month. They contract the vector-borne diseases from stagnant waters at metro sites. During monsoon, the number of cases goes up further," said a senior doctor at St George Hospital. The health department has now sent a notice to the MMRC asking for immediate action to contain the breeding of mosquitoes in the area.
"The on-going construction of Metro railway station opposite Vidhan Bhavan has resulted in a higher incidence of malaria in the surrounding areas. You are aware that the Metro stations are being constructed underground with retaining walls being constructed around them. Before the actual construction of the retaining walls, the soil is barricaded with I-beams of a large size at various levels. The sub-soil water seeping through the excavated portion gets collected in these I-beams and the water stagnating there breeds mosquitoes," the letter reads sent to Ashok Bhasme, DGM of MMRC. These beams, it says, are inaccessible for treatment as the structure fabricated for running the Gantry (bridge-like overhead structure with a platform supporting equipment such as a crane) is hindering the scope for treatment.
Area frequented by lakhs
The health department had last week inspected metro pits and collected water samples, while fogging the underground construction area. They found the larvae of the dengue virus was found near the plush Mantralaya precinct and near the neighbouring YB Chavan auditorium. The situation might turn scary soon if not handled well since the area is frequented by lakhs of office-goers every day, along with tourists and politicians. The footfall will increase further during the monsoon session of the state legislature that begins from June 17 at the Vidhan Bhavan. Also, most colleges and schools will reopen next week, further taking up the number of people in South Mumbai.
The letter further said: "Our staff is also putting their lives at risk by trying to reach the inaccessible spots but despite their efforts, certain spots cannot be accessed at all. The chances of mosquitoes breeding in these corners are manifold." In a similar situation last year, a large number of dengue larvae was found in a building near the Cricket Club of India where IAS and IPS officers have their official residences.
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