For over three months, residents of different areas in the port city have been suffering, as the mosquito population has multiplied, reportedly due to authority's negligence to kill mosquitoes and clean their breeding spots.
Mosquito nets have become mandatory after sunset. In many areas, there are so many mosquitoes that people cannot even stay home peacefully during daytime.
"I cannot study in the evening because a swarm of mosquitoes keeps flying around and biting me," said Dipa Chowdhury, a third-year honour's student at Chattogram Government Women's College in Nasirabad. "After the sun sets, we have to go inside our mosquito nets to save ourselves. I can't sit in my reading room, or drawing room to watch television. I've tried many things like aerosol and mosquito racket, but nothing worked."
Dipa, a resident of Rahattarpool Uzir Ali Shah By-lane, said they have been suffering because of mosquitoes for over three months.
"The drain in front of our house has been filled up with polythene and domestic waste, turning it into a safe haven for mosquitoes to lay eggs. I don't know what the authority concerned is doing," he said.
Kamal Uddin, who resides in the city's West Bakalia DC Road, said they cannot peacefully stay home even during daytime due to mosquito bites. "As bushes and drains in the area have not been cleaned for many days, mosquitoes are breeding at large," he said.
"Mosquitoes are so many and so aggressive that nothing works, although we have tried using aerosol and mosquito coils," he said. "Dengue season is coming, but the conservancy department of the city corporation seems to be indifferent."
Zadab Kumar Biswas, associate professor of zoology at Chittagong University, said mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Therefore, drains and canals should be cleaned regularly. Bushes around houses should also be cleaned.
However, residents in different areas said they did not see CCC conservancy workers cleaning drains and spraying insecticide for months.
"I saw them spraying in drains some three months ago, and from then on, no one came here to clean drains or spray insecticide," said Trisha Barua of of Shulak Bahar.
Contacted, CCC Chief Conservancy Officer Shafiqul Mannan Siddique, said he was sick and on leave. He suggested reaching out to CCC Deputy Chief Conservancy Officer Morshedul Alam Chowdhury to discuss the issue.
Morshedul told The Daily Star that CCC regularly conducts activities of the anti-mosquito campaign. Asked why residents in many areas did not see their workers for months, Morshedul said he would look into it.
To boost the campaign, anti-mosquito activities of a 100-day programme, which was initiated by the new mayor, is scheduled to start today.
"Four teams, comprising 233 workers, have been formed. Each consists of seven men for spraying insecticide and 50 drain cleaners," he said. "The programme will start from Chandgaon and cover 41 wards in phases during the 100 days."
CCC Mayor Rezaul Karim Chowdhury said as he pledged to get rid of the mosquito menace, he made the anti-mosquito drive one of the corporations' top priorities, after taking over charge on February 15. "I expect city dwellers will get relief from the menace soon," he said.