Mumbai: Thirsty and disease-prone

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Mumbai: Thirsty and disease-prone
Mumbai:  The ongoing water shortage in the city during the monsoon is beginning to have side effects. Water stored in buckets and tanks by households, seeking to tide over the 15 per cent water cut, is proving to be a breeding ground for mosquito larvae.

For civic authorities, however, its a catch-22 situation -- neither can they ask people to stop storing water nor can they ease the water cut because of the low lake levels."We are trying to advocate dry days, but then there is a problem of water supply, so people have to store water. This water, if unused, can be a breeding ground for larvae, " said Dr G T Ambe, executive health officer, BMC.

An increase in the virulence of the malaria strain has put authorities on high alert but dengue, they say, has been largely under control.

"We have seen nearly 25 dengue cases in the last two weeks but this is not more than last year when we saw a big spurt in October and November," said Dr Daksha Shah, who heads the BMC's epidemiology cell."As far as malaria is concerned, we are undertaking a massive drive to clear breeding grounds in mill lands around Worli, Dadar and Parel that have already been identified as high risk areas," she added.

The authorities are also employing fire brigade snorkels -- meant to save people in high rises -- to fumigate out-of-reach breeding grounds at these mills.

Municipal Commissioner Swadhin Kshatriya announced yesterday that the water cut would extend to August 15 due to an inadequate change in the lake levels. Currently there are 2,42,930 million litres of water in all the six lakes. However, for the citys water situation to ease, the level should be over 8,00,000 million litres.



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