iconimg Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Vishal Sally, Hindustan Times
Batala, February 28, 2013
Taking the cause of 47 families of the Gandhi Camp locality, who had lost their kin three months back during the gastroenteritis outbreak in the locality, local MLA Ashwani Sekhri on Thursday held a meeting with chairman and vice-chairman of SC/ST commission at New Delhi.

 

In a memorandum to the commission, Sekhri said in October, 47 people of the Gandhi Camp locality died due to gastroenteritis, which had spread in the area due to the negligence of the local municipal council authorities who failed to maintain adequate cleanliness.

Talking to HT on phone, vice-chairman of the SC/ST commission Raj Kumar Verka said taking a serious note of deaths in Batala, the commission has issued notice to chief secretary, secretary, local bodies department; IG (border range), Gurdaspur deputy commissioner and Batala SSP and seek their explanation within seven days.

The representatives of the commission will visit the affected site, where they will hear grievances of the affected families during a public hearing and justice will be delivered, he added.

During the meeting, Sekhri alleged that it was only due to the apathy of the civic administration that all sewers of the locality were chocked for the past many months, which resulted into mixing of sewage with potable water, which further resulted in this epidemic.

Sekhri added that it was only due to his efforts that a central team of doctors was rushed from New Delhi by the Congress-led UPA government to minutely examine the entire locality and the prevailing sanitation conditions and later guide the local health department about the best remedies.

Demanding registration of criminal cases against the municipal authorities, whose alleged laxity led to death of 47 people, Sekhri said all the officials, including secretary, local bodies; deputy director, Amritsar; executive officer, Batala MC; and all sanitary inspectors of the area were responsible for the deaths and they should be punished for culpable homicide under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code along with Sections 304, 269, 270 and 166 of IPC.

Sekhri demanded a compensation of Rs10 lakh and a government job for families who lost their kin during this epidemic.