Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) on Friday fined food delivery giant Zomato after the company's office was found to be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. While 3,400 cases of dengue have already been reported from the state this year, the government is doing all it can to mitigate the spread of the fever.
Speaking to TNM, P Madhusudhan Reddy, Deputy Commissioner (health), GCC said, “The unused delivery boxes were kept on the terrace of their premises. When our Vector Control Team visited, we found that there was water stagnant in all the bags which became potential breeding source for mosquitoes.” The premises located on Mcnicholas Road in Chetpet, Chennai.
Zomato has been fined Rs 1 lakh for allowing mosquitoes to breed. “They have accepted their fault and duly acknowledged to pay the fine. They’ve also promised to make the premises clean,” he said.
In less than 10 days, from October 10 to 18, Rs 20 lakh has been collected as fine by GCC from private, public and commercial establishments. A total of 387 offenders have been fined as a result. Integral Coach Factory too is among the list of those fined.
“We are not leaving anyone. Private, public individual and commercial establishments are checked frequently. We tell them that it is a public health issue. If there’s one place of breeding, those in 300-metre radius are affected and those in 500-metre radius are possibly affected. Based on immunity level, some may or may not contract. But this will spread and we need to be very careful,” he explains.
The GCC’s health department has close to 2200 staff deputed to go on such inspections daily. “If there are more than 2-3 cases reported from the same area, we will tighten our scrutiny,” DC adds.
He further tells TNM that the aim of such inspections and fines are to raise awareness and to sensitise people to be more responsible in preventing such fevers from spreading.