Beware of your sugarcane fix | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Beware of your sugarcane fix

Sugarcane juice might be refreshing, but not for your stomach. With cases of gastroenteritis — stomach flu — spiralling to 13, 377 this year, civic agencies have come down heavily on unlicensed sugarcane crushers and water vendors in Delhi. Jaya Shroff Bhalla reports.

delhi Updated: May 13, 2009 23:10 IST
Jaya Shroff Bhalla

Sugarcane juice might be refreshing, but not for your stomach.

With cases of gastroenteritis — stomach flu — spiralling to 13, 377 this year, civic agencies have come down heavily on unlicensed sugarcane crushers and water vendors in Delhi.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has recently removed 389 unlicensed sugarcane crushers and over 100 water vendors from various parts of Delhi.

“Uncovered, peeled sugarcane is the best source for growth of bacteria and other parasites — a major source of gastroenteritis and cholera,” said Dr V.K. Monga, chairperson, medical relief and public health commission, MCD.

“Worse till, the vendors use ice imported from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, where there is absolutely no check on water safety,” Monga said.

Monga said the problem is these unlicensed vendors don’t maintain any safety standards.

“Due to contaminated water and food, water-borne diseases like cholera, acute viral hepatitis (jaundice) and food poisoning are very common during this season,” he said.

So far, 56 cases of cholera have also been reported in Delhi, of which eight are out-station cases. The real figures may be higher than those with the MCD as many people go to private hospitals and doctors.

Experts are worried the figures may rise as temperatures peak in May-June.

Dr Vivek Raj, director and senior consultant gastroenterologist at Max Healthcare receives two-three new cases of gastroenteritis a day.