The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) on Monday started using drones to spray mosquito larvicide to fight the mosquito menace in Tamil Nadu.
Drones from the avionics wing of Anna University have been put into use for this purpose. The scheme was inaugurated by Greater Chennai Corporation commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi at the Cooum river bed in Royapuram zone on Saturday morning.
“Stagnant water becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes. We are using drones to spray anti-larval chemicals in water bodies to control mosquito breeding. Two drones are used every day to spray approximately 400 litres of chemicals,” said Bedi.
Drones will be used to spray larvicide in the Cuom, Adiar and Buckingham canals, officials said. It will be able to reach a wider area than humans can. Also, it is a safer technology, as malaria workers will be less exposed to chemicals. The GCC plans to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach by comparing resident complaints of mosquito menace to previous years.
#GCC team at Zn 6, Dn 70, is all set for anti-mosquito drone spraying in the waterway – Otteri Nallah. The waterways in #Chennai are treated continuously to stop mosquito breeding.#ChennaiCorporation#NammaChennaiSingaraChennai#NalamiguChennai pic.twitter.com/Bc7n7gf0WR
— Greater Chennai Corporation (@chennaicorp) March 15, 2022
Chennai city reports 53.6 percent to 78.8 percent of the total malaria cases in Tamil Nadu (1991 to 2019). Plasmodium vivax is the predominant malaria parasite, which accounts for 93 percent to 99.4 percent of the cases (1991 to 2019).
Tamil Nadu, according to entomologists and vector control experts, has four broad species of mosquito that spread dengue: armigers, Anopheles, Aedes and culex. This, according to vector control experts, is an important measure to rely on advanced technologies to bring out policies for preventive measures.
Sulakshna Ramakrishnan, who is an entomologist and teacher at a university in the United Kingdom, told IANS, “Scientific journals have given detailed study reports that the Aedes mosquito that is the main causative agent for dengue can breed in dirty water including sewage water and the vector behavioural changes have to be taken into account before arriving at a policy at the micro-level.”