Ashwani Kumar Choubey, the Urban Development Minister of the Indian State of Bihar has been given the task of vanquishing mosquitoes in the state. Nitish Kumar, the State's Chief Minister is reported to have given him the task which will start from the city of Patna.
Sources close to Nitish Kumar said his prime concern was to improve the law and order situation in the state, but eliminating mosquitoes was also a priority. The problem was apparently emphasized 17 January night by some cabinet colleagues and top officials who said that Bihar should be rid of mosquitoes even before it is cleaned up of criminals.
The mosquito menace has plagued the state for long. Politicians have time and again promised help, and the issue has even made it to the state assembly. It has also been suggested in a lighter vein that a separate ministry for dealing with the mosquito threat be created.
Bihar reports hundreds of malaria and kala azar cases every year, both of which are spread by mosquitoes. Most people in Bihar sleep under mosquito nets or use mosquito repellents.