The number of fever patients with dengue symptoms is on the rise in areas under the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) area.

State tourism minister Gautam Deb and Siliguri mayor Asok Bhattacharya visited Ward-15 on Monday to take stock of the situation. Ward-15 does not have a councillor, following the demise of Independent councillor Arabinda Ghosh around two years ago. The by-election in the ward is yet to be held.

Mr Deb said the corporation must carry out a survey to identify mosquito breeding grounds.

“There is no doubt that the Ward is clean, but there are some vacant lands where bushes have grown and people dump garbage there. It may be because the civic body cannot always lift the garbage. Clean, stagnant water is the breeding ground for dengue mosquitoes. The SMC should conduct a dedicated survey with health officials to identify mosquito breeding places, as according to figures, this ward almost tops the list of persons affected with dengue. There should be some reason behind this. Preventive measures should be taken by analysing those reasons,” Mr Deb said.

Many residents in the ward and in neighbouring Ward-14 have dengue symptoms.

During his visit, Mr Bhattacharya faced some questions from residents on Monday.

The mayor said a team of medical officers would be constituted to look into the reasons.

“We will form a team comprising medical officers to look into the reasons, because the situation in other wards is more or less normal. We will lay more focus on house-to-house survey and strengthen the teams of health workers,” Mr Bhattacharya said. He, however, said that Ward-15 had no councillor.

“The ward is virtually guardian-less, but we are taking all necessary steps in the absence of the councillor. There is a need for a ward councillor there,” the mayor said.