The magisterial inquiry report pertaining to the outbreak of diarrhoea in Mauli Jagran in June, where more than 2,000 diarrhoea cases were reported and eight persons had lost their lives, has revealed that contaminated water supply was the main reason behind the outbreak.
Chandigarh additional deputy commissioner Mahavir Kaushik, who conducted the inquiry, submitted a three-page report to the deputy commissioner, who has forwarded it to UT home secretary Anil Kumar for further action. The report said the water samples tested at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 were not found fit. Out of 27 water samples taken from various parts of the affected area, 10 samples failed the test.
Talking to HT, Anil Kumar said the outbreak was due to contaminated water supply, but what led to the contamination of water could not be detected. "We have sent the report to the MC for corrective measures. As far as action against any official is concerned, it is up to the MC now," he said. On the other hand, area councillor Rajinder Kaur Rattu said, "My fears have come true. The way MC officers are playing with the lives of innocent persons is shocking. Despite my repeated requests two months before the outbreak of diarrhoea to check the supply of contaminated water in the area, MC officials did not take the problem seriously. "Besides, they have failed to detect the cause of contaminated supply even one month after the outbreak," she said.
There was a furore over the issue in the MC house meeting held on July 31 for nearly five hours as councillors demanded action against the officers concerned. MC commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh had then assured that action would only be initiated after receiving the magisterial inquiry report. He had recommended Rs 5 lakh each as compensation to the families of the deceased.
BJP councillor Arun Sood had even questioned in House how all the water samples taken by the MC were found fit for drinking, whereas the samples collected by the UT health department had failed the test. Interestingly, instead of detecting the fault, the MC public health department had been claiming from Day One that they were supplying chlorinated water in Mauli Jagran.