MUMBAI (Web Desk) – Bungalows of several celebrities in the tony neighbourhoods of the Mumbai have been found to be breeding dens for the dengue-causing Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The BMC’s insecticide department has served notices to actors Anil Kapoor, Jitendra and Juhi Chawla, besides singer Amit Kumar at their residences in Juhu and Malabar Hill.
Article continues after the advertisement
The Aedes Aegypti’s breeding spot was also found in the BMC’s own backyard after one of its doctors was diagnosed with dengue on Sunday, the Times of India reported.
Dr Chandrakant Pawar, deputy medical superintendent of Kasturba Hospital for Infectious Diseases at Chinchpokli, is currently admitted for dengue in his own hospital.
The civic body has issued notices to the actors under the more stringent section 381(B) of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, for failing to keep their premises clean. Those prosecuted under the Act have to cough up fines ranging from Rs2,000 to 10,000 in magistrate courts.
Kumar, son of veteran singer Kishore Kumar, however has been issued a warning notice under section 381.
“The actors had to be prosecuted under the stricter sections as they failed to prevent breeding in their premises despite a mammoth awareness campaign undertaken by the BMC since January. It is unfortunate that 90% of dengue breeding in the city is happening in high-rises and bungalows,” said Rajan Naringrekar, BMC’s insecticide officer.
He added that in the month of September, around 1,953 mosquito breeding sites were found in the city, of which as many as 1,773 were in the non-slum areas.
This year, around 469 confirmed cases of dengue and three deaths have already been reported on Mumbai. The civic body said there have also been more than 2,500 suspected cases of dengue in September. There were 861 confirmed cases reported in all of 2014, along with 12 deaths.
Naringrekar said that a tarpaulin placed on a rain shade was breeding Aedes Aegypti at Kapoor’s bungalow in Juhu. In Jitendra’s residence at Juhu, it was a non-functional water fountain. At Chawla’s bungalow in Malabar Hill, the breeding of mosquitoes was found in an ornamental pot lying in the compound.
“The participation of citizens in dengue prevention has been abysmal,” he said, adding that indoor breeding has been a huge menace this year.
However, some celebrities have been abiding by the rule book. Bungalows of actors Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Khan and Shilpa Shetty, for instance, did not have a single breeding spot.
In October 2012, director Yash Chopra’s death due to dengue caused panic and spurred the BMC to fumigate film sets and studios. Nearly 700 beds out of the 3000-odd designated for monsoon related ailments in BMC hospitals have been taken up by malaria and dengue cases.