Mosquito terminator train to beat vector-borne diseases in Delhi

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The national capital’s civic bodies have launched a mosquito terminator train that will spray anti-larvae chemicals up to 60 metres on both sides of the railway tracks across Delhi to mitigate the threat of vector-borne diseases such as dengue, malaria and chikungunya.

The chemical will be sprayed from a power sprayer mounted on a truck placed over the special train. Civic officials said the train would spray insecticides for 10 days until October 2, including 10 round trips.

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The train would spray anti-larvae chemicals in water bodies, pits and jhuggi jhopri (JJ) clusters along railway tracks, where it is risky for personnel of the three civic bodies to manually spray the chemicals, they added.

Civic officials said that a truck mounted with a power sprayer would be loaded on an open railway wagon, which has a low flat surface to accommodate the vehicle. The terminator train would move at a speed of 20 kilometres (km) per hour and would cover a distance about 150 km in each round, they added.

Delhi has recorded 96, 42 and 97 cases of dengue, chikungunya and malaria, respectively, until September 5. No death due to these vector-borne diseases has been reported to date.

“It will cover areas such as Hazrat Nizamuddin, Lajpat Nagar, Sewa Nagar, Lodi Colony, Safdarjang, Patel Nagar, Delhi Kishanganj, Sadar Bazar, Sarai Rohilla, Inderpuri, Mayapuri, Dayabasti, Delhi Cantonment among others following which it will return to New Delhi railway Station. Besides water bodies, the train will spray insecticides over depression created on both sides of railway tracks, where chances of mosquito breeding remain high during monsoon,” she said.

In East Delhi, the train will spray larvicides around the tracks of Shahdara railway station, Vivek Vihar, Anand Vihar and Mandawali.

“It is an effective effort to eliminate the menace of dengue, malaria and chikungunya. Precautionary measures will save thousands of people living near railway tracks from these vector-borne diseases,” Jain said.

On August 25, the three civic bodies -- North, South and East -- had launched an awareness campaign about dengue, chikungunya and malaria diseases.

Similarly, the Delhi government had on September 6 launched the second edition of its “10 Hafte-10 Baje-10 Minute” campaign to tackle vector-borne diseases.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had urged the public to check their houses every Sunday at 10 am for 10 minutes for the next 10 weeks in a bid to prevent the breeding of Aedes mosquitoes that cause vector-borne diseases.

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