PMC running low on ammo to battle dengue

Sep 18, 2013, 01:54 IST | Anup Satphale

Sources say tendering process for fresh procurement of insecticides was initiated in April, but has been stuck in red tape ever since. Now, civic body is about to exhaust its supplies, with replenishment unlikely in the next two to three months.

Thanks to the sloppy attitude exhibited by the authorities, the PMC might soon end up on the losing side of the war it had waged against dengue. It has been learnt that while the existing stock of insecticides is nearing extinction, civic officials are yet to issue fresh tenders to replenish the stock for the current year.

Battle of dengue
Smoke screen: While the civic body has already exhausted its VectoBac stock, it’s now using the surplus provided by a state department, informed a civic employee. File Pic.

A civic official, requesting anonymity, said the existing stock might not last beyond 90 days and the tendering process would take a couple of months if it starts this week.

He also revealed that while the tendering process was initiated in April by vector borne disease control cell, owing to red-tapeism it has still not been floated. If initiated now, the whole exercise will take about two to three months more, he added. Officials fear that keeping in view what had happened last year, when number of patients who tested positive for dengue had shot up drastically in October (270) and November (441), shortage of insecticide during the upcoming months might spell doom this year.

PMC employee sprays insecticide
Running on empty! A PMC employee sprays insecticide at one of the several mosquito breeding hot spots in the city

Every year, the PMC requires insecticides like Abate, Pyrethrum, Vectobac and MLO. While the civic body has already exhausted its stock VectoBac stock, its now using the surplus provided by a state department, informed a civic employee. VectoBac is mostly used to kill the mosquito eggs.

“While there are other methods that can be used, culling mosquito eggs is considered to be the preventive measure,” informed a former insect specialist at PMC.

Vaishali Jadhav, medical officer and in-charge of PMC vector borne disease control cell, said, “We have enough stock to fight vector borne diseases and it will last for another two months. Even the stock of other insecticides will last for a good four to six months. The insecticide purchasing for year 2013-14 is yet to happen. We’ll replenish the stock once the tendering process is done.”

PMC Medical Officer S T Pardeshi said the tendering process was on and stock would be replenished by the month-end. “The tender will be processed after the Sanding Committee’s approval,” he said.

Commenting on the issue, Corporator Dr Sidharth Dhende said it’s been six months since the PMC budget was table and it reflect bad on civic body’s part to not float a new tender to replenish the stock as the matter concerned citizens.

“If the PMC can spend on festivals, then why not at a time when it’s a peak period for dengue. Floating tender is a technical term, which mosquitoes don’t understand and they’ll keep doing their job of spreading deadly diseases,” he said.

Did you know?
Steps to complete the tendering process

. Approval from Standing Committee
. Floating the tender
. Accepting the tender
. Finalising the tender
. Random sampling of material to be purchased for quality check
. Sending those samples to laboratory
. Stock accepted once approved by the lab

246 No of patients who have tested positive for dengue since January this year

199 No of people who tested positive for dengue from January to September 2012

711 Total number of dengue cases reported in the city in the months of October and November last year

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