04 June 2011
By Pratibha Masand
Civic authorities have identified G/south ward which includes parts of Worli, Haji Ali, Elphinstone Road and Currey Road—as the worst hotspot for the mosquito–borne disease that resurfaced with a vengeance last year, affecting tens of thousands of Mumbaikars. "BDD Chawl in Worli is one area from where most number of malaria cases have been reported over the last few months,’’ said a BMC official.
The BMC started a massive operation against malaria last year that showed that seven civic wards were the main culprit where the mosquito bred and spread the parasite with impunity; G/ South was among the top three along with L (areas around Kurla) and F South (areas around Parel). The authorities then started anti–malarial steps on a war–footing in these wards. G/south officials blame locals for malaria spread Mumbai: While other wards, including L ward that has among the poorest health indices in the city, have shown significantimprovement,G/southhas remained an eyesore: malaria continued to rise here even in May, a monthwithwhichthediseaseis notusually associated.
"We got good results in all the other wards, but G/south has only seen a marginal decline in the number of malaria cases," said BMC’s additional municipal commissioner (health) Manisha Mhaiskar. Statistics show that 771 cases were reported from the ward in March and 643 in April, and shot up to 948 in May. In Kurla, the numbersfellin thesame periodfrom 708 to 442 to 367. In Parel, only 502 cases were reported in March as against 338 in May.
Worli’sBDDChawlisone area from where the numbers refuse to come down. "In April, 75 cases of malaria were reported, whilein May52 peoplefellillbecause of the disease in BDD Chawl. Malaria just refuses to be curbedthere," saidwardcommitteechairman Jagdish Sawant.
The reason,saystheBMC,is non–cooperation of residents. Sawant said, "People are not cooperative enough when we send our workers to their homes. Collecting water in drums and tanks is a way of life and people refuse to change the collected water even after more than 10days." Another reason is an overflowing pipeline that results in water accumulation. "The PWD handles pipelines of BDD Chawl. Though they startedthe repair works many times, ithasn’thelped much," saidcorporator AshishChemburkar.
TheBMC,however,has now gotdown todividing thewardintoclusters. "Wehavedividedthe wardinto13 clusters.Our workers have been going from house tohousefor better fogging," said BMC’s executive health officer Dr AnilBandivdekar.