'We live in fear of dengue because of tarpaulin sheets'

Published: Nov 05, 2019, 08:07 IST | Chetna Sadadekar, Ashish Raje | Mumbai

Residents of Shivaji Park have blamed the sheets that continue to remain atop buildings in the area for the mosquito menace

Accumulated water seen on top of tarpaulin sheets put on buildings’ roofs by residents. PIC/ASHISH RAJE
Accumulated water seen on top of tarpaulin sheets put on buildings’ roofs by residents. PIC/ASHISH RAJE

A prolonged monsoon and tarpaulin sheets over terraces and roofs have brought the mosquito menace back to Shivaji Park, with breeding grounds forming in the accumulated water on top of the plastic sheets, residents have claimed. They have said that this has increased the chances of the spread of dengue and has forced people to shut the windows of their homes.

While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials claim that the complaint is not a new one and has been acted upon, residents said several flat owners continue to keep the tarpaulin sheets, that help prevent leakages, on top of buildings. The dengue-carrying mosquito species, Aedes aegypti, has a radius of about 2 km. And, these tarpaulin sheets, in which rain water collects sometimes, act as a breeding ground for the insects.

Gyanendra Seth, a resident of Siddhivinayak building opposite Shivaji Park, said, "My daughter contracted dengue and was hospitalised for 10 days. She missed school during the time and is still finding it difficult to catch up. BMC officials did come when I intimated the ward office and carried out an inspection, but now we have learned that the problem still persists as neighbouring buildings continue to be covered with the plastic sheets that have water accumulated on top. My wife is using six anti-mosquito sprays along with repellent creams and various other measures to combat the nuisance."

Rohan Shirodkar, a resident of Chamunda Heights, who was hospitalised till last week due to dengue, said, "I had to spend Diwali in the hospital because of dengue and even now I am scared to keep my bedroom and hall windows open as there is a serious mosquito nuisance in the area. I can only hope that BMC officials come and check the neighbouring buildings as there are many around us that continue to use plastic sheets."

A civic official from the Pest Control Office of the G-North ward, said, "We had received complaints in August about the same issue and we did send out notices to buildings where breeding spots were found in common areas and removed them. If there are issues again, we will inspect all the premises thoroughly because 80 per cent of the time the larvae and breeding grounds are found inside houses of those who have contracted dengue before. It is important for residents too to ensure that breeding grounds do not form."

Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner, G-North ward, said, "I have instructed the officials in the ward to resolve the issue and make relevant checks."

2 km - Radius in which the dengue-carrying mosquito species can disperse

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