Rajasthan state capital Jaipur is taking a hard line in its efforts to control mosquito-borne diseases, imposing fines against those who allow for breeding sites on their property.
At the time of writing, 141 homeowners in the city have been served with challans within a one-month period for failing to deal with breeding sites on their premises. The fine of Rs 500 is being imposed against a backdrop of rising cases of dengue fever in the city. As of September 24th, 535 cases of dengue fever have been reported in Jaipur. Last year, the city witnessed a 42 percent increase in dengue fever cases prompting measures such as fogging to address the situation.
“Ensuring homeowners take responsibility is key in the city’s efforts to address dengue. We are identifying larvae breeding sites while [conducting] inspections in houses,” said Jaipur’s chief medical officer Dr Narrottam Sharma. “We first serve them a notice. If they fail to obey the instruction, we issue challans.”
Inspections are conducted by the Rajasthan health department – particularly targeting hotspots such as Vidhyadhar Nagar and Shastri Nagar, the latter of which reportedly was the epicentre of an outbreak of vector-borne diseases including the Zika virus last year. Findings are then reported to the Jaipur Municipal Corporation to act accordingly. “We are conducting anti-larvae activities in the city to prevent vector borne diseases,” a health department official said in September. “We have identified the areas where the cases of dengue were reported last year in increased numbers. We are alert on dengue.”
Vigilance against dengue fever is of great importance in the context of the monsoon season, which officially ended in India yesterday. Cases of dengue fever surge during and after the monsoon season, owing to the abundance of stagnant water which offer prime breeding sites for mosquito populations. As such, measures such as larval control are of great importance if dengue fever – endemic throughout India – is to be controlled effectively.