Hyderabad: The battle against mosquitoes in the city is all set to intensify with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) getting equipped with more men and machinery.
Having learnt lessons from the last monsoon, the GHMC Entomology wing has already come up with a calendar listing out the activities to be taken up every month, with special focus on the next monsoon. As part of these initiatives, 13 Assistant Entomologists are proposed to be recruited on an outsourcing basis. Presently, there are 17 Assistant Entomologists in the wing and the idea is to ensure there is one AE in each of the 30 circles of the civic body.
Efforts are also on to entrust the responsibility of recruiting the AEs through the National Academy of Construction as was done in the case of recruitment of the engineers for the engineering wing. The move is to have transparency besides, ensuring quality workforce. Further, more personnel are being recruited on outsourcing basis this year for increasing the number of Anti-Larval Units (ALUs), fogging teams and special teams for effective anti-larval operations and for taking up extensive fogging activities in the city.
The GHMC, as of now, has 100 ALUs and special fogging units involved in the exercise to prevent and control vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, chikungunya, etc and to reduce mosquito menace. All the requisite units are deployed every year by taking the required manpower on outsourcing basis. For better administrative control, the requisite manpower is now made into 15 packages with same composition and deployment in all 150 wards of six zones in the municipal corporation.
Measures are being taken to deploy the ALUs and special/fogging units consisting of one Entomology Field Assistant (EFA), three or six Superior Field Worker (SFW) and 12 to 15 Field Workers (FW) as per the requirements in each circle.
Weekly anti-larval operations
The entomology wing is taking up anti-adult mosquito control measures by thermal fogging and spraying indoor Pyrethrum in and around 50 houses of positive case reported areas to immediately arrest the disease transmission.
This apart, identification of ‘Hot Spots’ for mosquitoes and transmitted diseases is done. Special measures are being taken to control the spread of larvae in open nalas, tanks, River Musi and other open breeding places like edge cleaning, spraying and de-weeding and releasing of mosquito larvivorous Gambusia fish in water bodies.
All households have been advised to observe ‘Dry Day’ once a week and clear the discarded articles to avoid water stagnation.
Further, under the Urban Vector Borne Diseases Scheme (UVBDS), the breeding sources are being marked in pictorial form with Red Oxide (Geru) stencil. In addition to this, after fogging, Pyrethrum is undertaken and proof of it is collected in the form of signatures from local residents.
Mosquito trapping machines
Taking the fight against mosquitoes to a new level, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) under a pilot project has installed mosquito trapping and surveillance machines in different areas of the city.
These machines aid in identifying the species of mosquitoes and their density in a particular area. Based on the density and species, the entomology wing will initiate measures accordingly to control the menace.
The machines are presently installed at Malakpet, GHMC Head Office, Nacharam, Kukatpally, Golkonda, Krishnakant Park and Brahmanwadi.
In addition to the data obtained through machines, they are being cross-checked manually. After collecting the machine data, the man-hour density (manually obtained) is checked for any differences. The project was launched last year and needs to be conducted for some more time to study different aspects, said GHMC Chief Entomologist, Rambabu.