Property owners and builders found breeding Aedes mosquitoes that transmits dengue could land behind bars for up to six months if the state public health department has its way.
The director of public health, in a letter to deputy directors of health services and municipal authorities, has given instructions to register a case under section 269 of the Indian Penal Code against those who refuse to cooperate with them.
The case is slapped against “whoever unlawfully or negligently does any act which is and which he knows or has reason to believe to be likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life.”
The person can be punished with imprisonment of up to six months, or fined or both.
Director of public health K Kolandaswamy said the last time people were imprisoned under this section was during a smallpox outbreak in the 1960s.
He said the last three months health department and municipal bodies been serving legal notices to many builders and residents after they failed to follow their instructions to remove the breeding grounds of these mosquitoes.