To get rid of a buzz of one kind, the Kochi Corporation Office witnessed a buzz of another kind.
In order to protest against the alleged inaction of the Corporation in tackling the city's mosquito menace, opposition Councillors, headed by K J Antony from the Left Democratic Front, decided to sit in protest outside Kochi Mayor Soumini Jain’s office, where they would sit …covered with mosquito nets.
With stoic faces and in all seriousness, the protestors can be seen seated upright, covered with a bright pink mosquito net.
The original plan of the protesters was to welcome the Mayor with the mosquito nets draped all over them, but as Soumini got wind of the protest, she didn’t show up. The protesters then went to Deputy Mayor T J Vinod’s office and tried to drape the mosquito net on him, but that was in vain as well, as he managed to resist the ‘attempt’. With no other option, the poor protesters decided to cover the Mayor’s chair with the mosquito net.
The protestors try to drape the net on Deputy Mayor T J Vinod, which also did not work. Image credit: Mathrubhumi
“Even though the Corporation has spent around Rs 1 crore, most of the fogging machines and vehicles are either missing or not working. No action has been taken for the two years, and it’s impossible to even walk during the day time,” Antony told TNM.
However, speaking to TNM, T J Vinod denies the allegations. “The Opposition is spreading blatant lies. We have started spraying, fogging and we are in control of the situation,” he said.
“We are pressuring the Mayor to conduct a scientific study into the issue. The larvicide used proved to be useless, as mosquitoes have become resistant to them,” Antony said.
According to data obtained from the Health Ministry, Kerala reported 19,694 dengue cases in 2017, and 36 people have succumbed to the disease so far. Kochi was also one of the worst-hit areas. Improper waste management and poor drainage systems have proved to be a breeding ground for mosquitoes in urban areas, and in rural areas, plantations have.