Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) has asked supervisors to upload GPS-tagged photographs of the ongoing cold fogging exercise to ensure better compliance of the anti-dengue measure that involves killing full-grown mosquitoes.
“All multi-purpose supervisers (MPS) will have to upload GPS tagged photographs (geotagged images) of the cold mist fogging exercises that is on in various lanes of all 53 wards to ensure strict adherence to the monthly roster that has been prepared to tackle the vector menace,” RMC additional municipal commissioner (AMC) Girja Shankar Prasad said on Monday.
As per a directive issued on Sunday evening, all 53 MPS will have to upload GPS tagged photographs of the fogging exercise in the RMC’s WhatsApp group in the morning and evening while monitoring the activities of 66 workers.
“From Monday onwards there will be cold mist fogging and anti-larvicidal spraying in mornings and evenings. While the morning exercise will be carried out between 5am and 7am, the evening exercise has been scheduled between 6.30 pm and 8.30 pm,” said RMC assistant medical officer Kiran Kumari.
RMC has three cold mist fogging machines and the roster has been made in such a way that fogging is repeated in each ward after a span of nine days, the time taken by larvae to develop into an adult Aedes aegypti mosquitoe, she said.
“Cold fogging machines are aimed at killing adult mosquitoes. There have been complaints earlier from residents that their wards are not being covered although supervisors show us log books to claim that they have covered all areas. GPS tagged photographs will remove such confusion and help us monitor the fogging exercise,” she added.
RMC efforts at controlling dengue come in the backdrop of last year’s outbreak with Ranchi recording 350 dengue positive cases. Unconfirmed reports claimed two casualties but the health department denied these were caused by dengue.
“Yes, there was a dengue outbreak in Ranchi last year but there was no casualty. Blood samples of two persons suspected to have died of dengue turned out negative in the Elisa test. This year, there have been no reports of any dengue positive cases,” said Ranchi civil surgeon Dr Vijay Prasad.
RMC has stopped its earlier practice of thermal fogging that was less effective. “The 10 thermal fogging machines will not be used anymore in any of the wards. Cold mist fogging machines will be using a chemical, insective Aqua K-Othrine, which can be mixed with water instead of diesel (as in thermal fogging machines) and will not harm the environment,” Kumari said.
Cold fogging is in the form of a mist and is more precise in hitting adult mosquitoes compared to earlier methods that led to smog and was not that effective. “We also plan to buy three more cold mist fogging machines later,” Kumari added.
The cold mist fogging machines will be deployed alongside the 600 hand-held machines that are used to spray larvicide in drains and other water accumulation points where mosquitoes breed.
“We have a roster for spraying larvicide too. MPS will also have to send GPS tagged photographs for that too. Two workers have been assigned in each of the 53 wards (106 in 53 wards) and the roster has been made in such a manner that larvicide spray is repeated in a particular drain every seven days,” Kumari said.