Kharadi/Mundhwa, 9th February 2024: In the residential areas of Kharadi, Keshavnagar, and Mundhwa, residents who invested in dream homes are grappling with an unexpected adversary – mosquitoes. The picturesque view from their high-rise balconies is overshadowed by the constant buzz of these tiny intruders, leaving residents frustrated and confined within their homes.
The mosquito onslaught is attributed to the increased water table in the Mula-Mutha River, creating a breeding ground for swarms of mosquitoes. The water hyacinth along the riverbanks, from Mundhwa Bridge to Kharadi Village, has proliferated, exacerbating the mosquito problem. While the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has initiated the removal of water hyacinth, the delayed action has left residents grappling with a mosquito infestation.
The situation is particularly dire along the riverbed, impacting various establishments, including skyscrapers, IT park premises, schools, sports stadiums, old age homes, crematoriums, and the local villages. Despite investments in luxurious flats, residents find themselves unable to enjoy their balconies, and even the society gardens have become off-limits for children.
The cause of this mosquito menace traces back to ongoing projects in the Mula-Mutha riverbed, where a small dam and a water treatment plant are located. The slowing water flow due to these projects has led to water accumulation, providing an ideal environment for mosquitoes to breed.
Citizens, led by former MLA Bapu Pathare, have been relentlessly urging the PMC to address the issue promptly. However, bureaucratic red tape and delays in tender processes have hindered quick resolutions.
Residents, angered by the mosquito storm, took to social media to voice their concerns, blaming the PMC for the inconvenience. Videos showcasing the magnitude of the mosquito invasion circulated online, prompting widespread frustration.
Mehzabin Saiyed, a resident of Kharadi, lamented, “Our apartment is on the 27th floor. We didn’t even open the balcony door for months because of the mosquitoes. Due to ongoing work by the river side, water is stagnant. As a result, mosquitoes have increased due to the growth of water hyacinth.”
Kiran Palse, another resident, questioned the lack of frequent cleaning of the riverbed and criticized the PMC’s failure to plan the removal of water hyacinth. He remarked, “The real question is why the riverbed is not cleaned frequently before it is completely filled with water. The Pune Municipal Corporation has failed in planning to remove water hyacinth.”
Residents from various societies, including Florida River Bank (Keshav Nagar) and Florida WaterColor, highlighted the pressing issue. Sudhir Bhillar and Mahesh Bhosale from Florida River Bank urged authorities to take immediate action to control mosquito production along the river, safeguarding the well-being of the community.
Saharsh Utture from Florida WaterColor explained that their bi-weekly fogging efforts within the society were insufficient due to the extensive mosquito production near water bodies and dump yards. The resultant mosquito menace restricted outdoor activities and disrupted sleep, adding to residents’ irritation.
Bhavika Tanwar, secretary of Florida Riverwalk, emphasized the severity of the mosquito problem in their society. Despite daily chemical spray and fogging, the situation remained grim, affecting residents’ health and outdoor activities.
Sumit Malhotra drew attention to the green-tinged river stretch near Jackwell bridge, contributing to the mosquito nuisance.
The PMC, responding to the escalating issue, initiated mosquito control measures in Kharadi. Milind Ghate from the Department of Pest Control at the Yerwada ward office stressed that the timely and frequent removal of water hyacinths could prevent such problems.
Sushma Munde, Health Inspector in Kharadi, acknowledged the silt in the riverbed creating an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. The increase in mosquitoes has been reported to the pest control department.
As residents grapple with sleepless nights and confined living spaces, the PMC faces mounting pressure to address the root cause and implement effective solutions to curb the mosquito menace.