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Ill family couldn’t cremate four-yr-old

india Updated: Jun 26, 2013 02:11 IST
Hindustan Times
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Sanjana, the four-year-old girl who died after allegedly drinking contaminated water in south Delhi’s NCERT colony, was cremated by her neighbours. Her entire family, including her parents, are in a serious condition and undergoing treatment at Safdarjung Hospital.

Sanjana had complained of vomiting and diarrhoea on Sunday and had died the same day. Hospital authorities claimed the girl was brought dead.

“The body of the girl was preserved for a day but due to the humid conditions, we couldn’t have waited for the family to get discharged. So, we along with some of her relatives decided to cremate her,” said Manoj Kumar, a neighbour. Sanjana’s grandfather Gopi Prasad said they had been complaining about the dirty water but the authorities never took any action.

“Both my daughters-in-law with their children came to visit me. I have lost my granddaughter while others are still in hospital. I am so angry. Because of the negligence of the authorities, my family is suffering,” said Gopi Prasad. Seven of Sanjana’s family members are still undergoing treatment. “We were assured that this matter will be solved soon but it doesn’t matter to us anymore. We have already lost our little one,” said Suman Verma, her aunt who was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday.

‘Complaints went unheard’

On Sunday, Hari Kishen, 42, of NCERT colony on Aurobindo Marg complained of vomiting and diarrhoea. His family rushed him to Safdarjung Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.

Kishen allegedly fell prey to the contaminated water that was being supplied to the south Delhi colony. A four-year-old girl also died after drinking contaminated water.

When HT visited the colony, the reporter found Kishen’s house was locked and his entire family was at Kalyanpuri for his cremation.

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) supplies bulk water to the colony, which is internally distributed by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD).

“For the past three months, we have been complaining about the yellow dirty water but no one listened to us. We then decided to approach the media after which the DJB sent tankers with clean water today. We also received medicines and ORS packets only today,” said Om Prakash, a resident of the colony.

South Delhi Corporation’s health department officials visited the colony on Monday and Tuesday and collected water samples.

“Samples have been collected and the water quality will be checked. If any fault is found, we can only send a challan since that is the maximum action we can take,” said a MCD official.

Around 50 people have been hospitalised in Safdarjung and other private nursing homes after drinking dirty water.
The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) supplies bulk water to the colony; it is then distributed internally by the CPWD. DJB officials, however, maintained that there was nothing wrong with the bulk water supplied by them.

“The water supplied by the DJB is being stored in an underground reservoir. Internal supply in this colony is not the responsibility of the DJB. We have sent four water tankers,” said Sheila Dikshit, chairperson of DJB.

Authorities reacted only after deaths

Around 50 residents of NCERT colony in Aurobindo Marg have been hospitalised over the last three days after allegedly drinking contaminated water.

They are admitted in Safdarjung as well as other private hospitals. “On Sunday, I started vomiting after every hour. My condition was out of control. I have been in and out of the hospital for the past three days. I haven’t slept or eaten properly,” said Geeta Verma, an affected resident.

His neighbours said the authorities swung into action only after deaths were reported in the colony.

“At 6 pm, ambulances arrived and took the patients to the hospitals. After the deaths in the colony, the authorities have started helping us,” said Manoj Kumar, a resident of the colony.