Mumbai: Residents of the upmarket Marine Drive area of south Mumbai are battling a Malaria outbreak. It is the most coveted address in Mumbai but Marine Drive is now losing a lot of its charm.
The sudden spurt in the number of cases reported to be malaria positive are allegedly due to the renovation of the Wankhede cricket stadium. The well known cricket stadium right next door has turned into an ugly mess of slush and concrete.
The residents have now launched a signature campaign to get the municipal council of Mumbai (the BMC) to swing into action.
"Right now there are people who have dengue and malaria in my building. Dengue is really scary," said Swati Shah, a resident.
A 200-crore-rupee massive overhaul aims to convert Wankhede into a world-class cricket stadium. The construction goes on all through the night, exposing the residents to disease and sound pollution.
The harrassed residents have figured out their own way to battle the menace.
"Everybody is complaining of getting malaria and now we hear there cases of dengue. There are people suffering and no body is paying any heed to it," said Kala Banga, another resident.
The municipal corporator, Vinod Shekhar said, "Around 50 cases of malaria have been reported from this area. We have contacted the administration and asking them to fumigate the area to control the mosquitoes."
The BMC and the residents are clearly seeking to blame each other. The corporation admits the disease took root due to the construction work but also faults the residents for not maintaining clean overhead tanks atop buildings. The BMC says these unclean tanks with stagnant and contaminated water are a welcome breeding ground for the mosquitoes. The corporation officials say the body has infact served notices on 57 such buildings.
Insecticide officer (BMC) Deepak Adsul said, "It is a combination. I do not want to blame building people but I want to make them aware of the maintenance part of the overhead tanks, keeping them covered and taken care of by the building management."
The work at Wankhede stadium is set to be completed only by 2011. Till then, it could be a long and tough wait for the residents before they get their view and their health back in good stead.