The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has launched an extensive drive to check the outbreak of dengue. The civic body health officials have started visiting structures that remain closed and without maintenance. Borough 10 of the KMC has been identified as the most vulnerable area for outbreak of the vectorborne disease. The KMC has also launched a drive against the vectorborne diseases to prevent outbreak of dengue or malaria that have in the past claimed several lives in the city.

The civic body team recently visited a locked house at Raipur Mondal area in Ward 99 of the KMC. Since the house was locked and has had no residents for long, the KMC workers had to use a ladder to climb up to the terrace of the building where they spotted two water tanks with their covers open. To stop the open tanks from becoming a potential breeding ground of mosquitoes, they were covered by KMC officials. The councillor of the ward, Debashish Mukherjee, said “The house has remained locked for long. We did not know how to conduct a dengue drive here since access to the place was not possible. I’ve informed the police, vector control team of KMC, lightning department, parks and squares department. Ladders were arranged and the workers went up to the roof.”

The residents’ fear was palpable. “People were affected with dengue in our area earlier and we don’t want it to happen again. While our area particularly has not witnessed a dengue case till now, but people have been affected with the disease in the adjoining areas. We had no clue that such open tanks were on the terrace of this building,” a resident said. Meanwhile, Mr Atin Ghosh, KMC deputy mayor and member mayor-in-council (MMIC), Health, held a meeting with officials of Borough 10. Sources said the Borough has been identified as the most vulnerable since the number of dengue cases is high in this area.

The MMIC, commenting on the same, said “A Borough meeting was called where we discussed measures that need to be immediately taken to prevent any further dengue cases in the five wards of this Borough.” Mr Ghosh added: “We are adopting a three pronged tactics that includes cleaning of waste by conservancy workers. A file has to be maintained, and money for the purpose needs to be used from councillor’s fund or Borough chairman’s fund.” “Secondly, the locked houses that are lying without maintenance and have no residents to look after them will be accessed by KMC workers. The locks will be broken and cleaning will be carried out. We have provisions in the KMC Act to access such properties. The keys will be kept with us. Any officer found disobeying orders will be suspended,” he said.

Mr Ghosh also visited the Tollygunge Police quarters in an inspection drive. The Statesman had reported on 15 September that residents in the quarter have blamed police, PWD and KMC for garbage piling in the premises, creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes while chunks of cement are falling off from the walls of the building. The MMIC said “We have informed the police and the PWD. The state PWD minister Aroop Biswas was also informed about the same. There are several issues that exist here. These include drainage, flooring and building maintenance.

There is also no committee in this quarter with whom we can carry out official correspondence. For now, KMC will assign three conservancy workers for the cleaning work. Another visit to the quarters will be carried out next week.”