Delhi: 'Mosquito Terminator on Wheels' to spray insecticides around tracks
After much prodding by the Delhi HC, the anti-mosquito breeding fight in the capital is now getting a big weapon. The 'Mosquito Terminator on Wheels' is a train that will go around the National Capital Region (NCR) spraying insecticides, sanitizing up to 50-60m area along the tracks. "This will go a long way in protecting thousands from chikungunya and dengue," said SDMC mayor Narendra Chawla.
The special train is brought out around this time annually, when the breeding season is at its peak. A truck-mounted sprayer provided by the SDMC is loaded on to a wagon called DBKM. As the train moves, it sprays. This kills mosquitoes as well as larvae, Chawla said, hence the move will be beneficial for the people, particularly those with homes adjoining the tracks.
This time, the train will cover areas like Hazrat Nizamuddin, Lajpat Nagar, Lodhi Colony, Safdarjung, Inderpuri and Sadar Bazar. In each cycle, 150kms will be covered. "The insecticide will be sprayed from 7am - 11am and 5pm - 9pm on both sides of the tracks." Two rounds of spraying will be conducted each week. It is expected to finish all areas by September 8.
Last month, a municipal report claimed malaria is turning out to be a greater cause of concern for Delhi than dengue and chikungunya. Forty cases of malaria had been recorded this season till July 26, compared to 28 of dengue and 14 of chikungunya. All three are spread through mosquitoes. Experts opine these numbers might be an underestimation. "The corporations report cases from select hospitals only," one said.
Despite the situation, authorities haven't done enough to prevent more spreading. Mosquito-inbreeding has been detected at over 38,000 households this season; 44,020 legal notices have been served for violations. In April, the HC lashed out at the government and municipalities for their lackadaisical attitude. In June, L-G Anil Baijal directed officials to spread messages, especially in vernacular languages, to sensitize the masses.
You can take steps to reduce your chances of contracting malaria. To prevent bites, use mosquito nets or insect repellant while sleeping, and wear full-sleeved clothes and long pants. When not using water coolers, make sure they are dry; mosquitoes often breed in stagnant water. Clean your house regularly to detect breeding of mosquito larvae. Keep doors and windows closed and screened with gauze.