Govt fishes for frogs to tackle mosquito menace
PAGE ONE Indian Express Newsline Delhi
Will approach neighbouring states to get the ‘natural predators’
New Delhi, June 20: With ‘dengue season’ round the corner, the Delhi government is fishing for frogs to tackle the aedes mosquito menace.
With guppy and gumbusia fish failing to stem mosquito breeding in water bodies across the city, and an alarming 45 per cent increase in the density of mosquitoes, the government is now banking on frogs to contain dengue-spreading mosquito.
In a recent letter, the Ministry of Environment and Forest has asked the Delhi government to restore these natural predators (frogs), also referred to as “levelers”, to get rid of aedes mosquito.
With hardly any frogs left in the 500-odd water bodies in Delhi, officials are now zeroing in on areas in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Haryana where frogs are available “aplenty”, a health department official said. “We will soon get in touch with farmers there and request them to help us catch frogs from their farmlands or wetlands,” the official said.
“They need pure eco-systems to live in so it becomes necessary for the authorities to at least get the water cleaned to get them back from where they disappeared.”
Dr PL Joshi, former director of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, said, “The density of mosquito has increased tremendously, so the idea (of introducing frogs in water bodies) will prove effective.”