No Anti-Larvae Treatment in City for Past Two Years
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05 August 2010
By Ravikiran Deshmukh and Geeta Desai
In a huge embarrassment to the state administration, BMC Commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya said for the past two years, there has been no anti–larvae treatment in any part of the city. The process, so very vital to prevent malaria, was stopped because of non–availability of the oil used in anti–larvae treatment. This confession was made at the weekly meeting of the state cabinet, prompting NCP minister Ajit Pawar to ask, “Should we (the politicians) now step out and kill the mosquitoes?”
Two years ago, the BMC stopped getting the malaria lavrisidal oil (MLO) used for the anti–larvae treatment. The supplier, a Government of India undertaking, told the BMC that products created by private companies should be used to continue the process. The substitute oil that the BMC procured – bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI) – proved ineffective, resulting in anti–larvae treatment being stopped altogether. Former mayor, Dr Shubha Raul, said even when the BTI oil was purchased, the BMC didn’t have the special spray machines to sprinkle it.
City corporators have maintained the BTI oil is ineffective. BJP’s Aashish Shelar, the corporator from Khar, said, “There is no anti–larvae treatment done in my ward. We resort to only fogging, which is not really effective in controlling the spread of malaria.”
Public Health Minister Suresh Shetty said BMC has been directed to procure the oil from private players through short–tender procedure.
CM Ashok Chavan called developers to work closely with the state to curb the menace. He accepted a suggestion to form a study group of ministers, which will suggest measures. Meanwhile, Ajit Pawar blamed the BMC for its failure to control the spread of malaria.