The last four weeks of Simhastha fair witnessed over 2.32 lakh people taking ill and visiting health centres set up on the fair ground. “Dehydration, diarrhoea, food poisoning and heat stroke were reasons for most people falling sick,” said Dr NK Trivedi, chief medical health officer, Ujjain.
“In the last 27 days, both local patients and foreigners came up with complaints related to food poisoning and dehydration,” said Dr Rajesh Kumar, a doctor posted at the disaster management ward in Ujjain.
Around 4000 people were hospitalised during the fair. The 40-bed ward reserved for sadhus on fair area also remained occupied throughout the fair as several cases of dehydration, vomiting and respiratory problems were reported.
A week ago, around 720 kg of adulterated food, including packaged drinking water and juices were destroyed by a team of state food and drugs department. “The food quality in Ujjain was pretty bad when we began sampling. It was found that a sizeable portion of the goods were either duplicated or have crossed expiry dates,” said Pramod Shukla, food inspector.
People trusting on branded and packaged products were sold packaged adulterated food items, worsening the health situation, added Shukla.
Fire breaks out at Piplinaka camp
A fire broke out at the camp of Khalsa Chandrahas Maharaj in Piplinaka on Wednesday evening. Sources said valuables worth Rs 5 lakh were gutted.
As many as 180 fire accidents took place during the month-long Simhastha fair. The heat has already upped power consumption in Indore, Ujjain and surrounding regions. Excessive use of ACs at the fair premises have added to the risk of fires.
Superintendent of police (fire) Rajesh Sahay said about five among the accidents reported could have turned fatal.
“A short circuit triggered a fire at Mahanirwani camp on Barnagar Road. Valuables and cash worth over `1 lakh were gutted but luckily none was injured in the accident,” the SP said.
“Three fires of similar proportion took place at Niranjani Akhada, near Rudrasagar Lake and Kakchowk respectively, while a car parked in Chamunda locality also caught fire. Fortunately, no casualties were reported in these cases.”
“Major losses were averted as the bikes, equipped with water mixed compressed air foam and other chemicals, easily contained fires. Acquainting seers with measures to avoid fire hazards helped,” added the SP.