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Times of India
24 May 2011
By Sharad Vyas
Mumbai, India

An ancient Chinese system of aesthetics, which permeates calming energies and adds serenity to your home, Feng Shui artefacts can also help mosquitoes breed in households if not cleaned regularly. In an anti–malaria drive in opulent buildings in the western suburbs, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has found the breeding of female Anopheles mosquitoes inside Feng Shui crafts such as bamboo flutes, wooden stands and wealth trees, especially at homes where the Chinese practice has been applied in abundance.

"These artefacts were not cleaned by their owners for many months and left room for the breeding of mosquitoes in their unhygienic surroundings. We urge citizen to take care to periodically clean these expensive crafts," said additional municipal commissioner (health) Manisha Mhaiskar.

The BMC has been under pressure from citizens and experts to ensure it does enough to curb the spread of malaria in the city before the monsoon arrives. Already, the numbers have presented a picture that clearly reflects either the BMC's ignorance or its apathy. On Monday, 31 patients were admitted to hospitals across the city; since the start of the month, 865 have been admitted.

"These numbers have created a sense of fear among citizens who do not trust the BMC with its anti–malaria measures. The corporation has blamed other government agencies, private properties and labour from Andhra Pradesh and Orissa for the spread of malaria in Mumbai. But what has the BMC done to prevent the growth of this menace over the past few years," asked BJP corporator Ashish Shelar.

As part of its drive, officials said, the BMC has this year undertaken a comprehensive programme to counter the threat of malaria. Apart from fogging, cleaning and equipping hospitals with medicines and kits, households have been urged to clean overhead tanks regularly and builders have been urged to maintain hygiene at construction sites.

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