Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) launched its first phase of anti-dengue drives in the city ahead of the summer season on Saturday. About thousand people took part in the central rally, which was taken out from the KMC headquarters on S N Banerjee Road, to create awareness about the disease. Another couple of thousands took part in various rallies organised by 144 ward councillors as part of the first phase of the city’s battle against dengue. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe central rally, which was attended by Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh, the state Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, special municipal commissioners Tapas Chowdhury and Shahzad Shibli, administrative officials of various departments, also had film actors, including Deb and Mimi, and former Indian Olympian Gurbux Singh and poet Chandril Bhattacharya. Deb and Mimi urged local residents not to allow water-logging in front of their homes and emphasised on preventive measures to control the disease. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataPeople were accompanied by a musical band, Chhau dancers and a group of musicians with dhol kartaal, who performed on various folk tunes of Bengal. Some of them held placards with thought-provoking messages aimed to create awareness about the disease donning costumes of Doraemon, Motu Patlu and Mickey Mouse. Lauding the initiative by the deputy mayor for organising such drives and bringing down the number of dengue cases last year, Hakim said the chances of dengue and malaria breakouts seemed bleak this year. But it is better to take precautionary measures, he said. Citing a recent incident, in which a few KMC workers were attacked by members of a household during a dengue drive, Hakim said: “Do not assault or attack civic workers who visit your home for inspection. I request your cooperation in this regard.” The second phase of the drive is scheduled to commence from July and continue till October.