Contaminated drinking water: Seven fall sick
June 23, 2010 1 Comment
HYDERABAD: Tension prevailed at Gandhi Kutir basti in Narayanguda on Tuesday with the 3,000 odd basti residents alleging health problems due to contaminated drinking water that is being supplied to the area. Reportedly 30 persons, including several children from this basti, fell sick in the last 10 days. On Tuesday, seven
people, including three children were admitted to Fever Hospital.
Residents claimed that the basti has been getting polluted water over the last six to seven months and despite registering complaints with the water board, no action was taken. “We get dirty water for the first 30 minutes of the supply and just when the clean water starts coming, the supply stops,” said M Satyamma, a resident of the basti.
Another resident, Radhika, added that in the last one week, at least 100 residents had to get admitted in Fever Hospital and other private hospitals with health problems due to contaminated water.
Responding to the situation, the district health authorities set up a medical camp in the basti on Tuesday and found cases of typhoid, viral fever, body pain and other minor ailments. As many as 120 people of those screened had health problems, said district medical and health officer Dr Ch Jayakumari. The health officials distributed chlorine tablets along with ORS sachets and paracetamol tablets to the ailing residents and said that the medical camp will continue for two days. Besides, the water samples were sent to the Institute of Preventive Medicine for testing quality.
“The water board officials took the matter lightly. Had they taken it seriously, the situation would not have become so serious,” said J Hemawathi, local corporator.
District collector Natrajan Gulzar and health minister D Nagender visited the spot and directed the water board officials to replace the pipelines in the area immediately.
Meanwhile, rubbishing the allegations of the residents that they fell sick due to contaminated water, water board officials said that potable water was being supplied to the residents.
“There was a marriage in the area some time ago. This is in response to that. We have tested the water in front of the basti residents and found traces of chlorine, which confirms that it is potable water. All the residents have pit taps which are not maintained hygienically,” said P V Rama Babu, director, operations, Water Board.
However, Babu further said that as per the instructions of the health minister, the Water Board will replace the existing pipelines including those of individual connections. The work will be completed in about 15 days, he said adding that the water supply through the pipelines will be stopped for the next three days and the basti will be supplied water through water tankers.