In what can only be described as negligence of the highest order, Jalandhar municipal corporation officers did not deem it within the bounds of their duty to repair a water pipe they broke during the laying of a road in ward number 58 of Ishwar Nagar in April and just tied a piece of rubber around it.
The result of the negligence is that now 33 people have been diagnosed with jaundice in the area as the sewage from a pipe nearby mixed with the water supply pipe.
Finally, after protests and a lot of hue and cry by the residents of the area, civil surgeon Dr RL Bassan visited the area on Monday to inspect the extent of the disease and plan a way to recovery.
"There are around 33 jaundice patients in street number 3 of this locality and the matter is serious. I have asked my staff to set up a camp in the locality and help people cope with the outbreak. More than 13,000 chlorine tablets have also been distributed among residents."
The civil surgeon added that he had spoken with the municipal commissioner over phone and a meeting had been convened to tackle the outbreak of the disease.
Sanjeev Bhagat, a resident said, "While constructing a road in our area, municipal corporation workers broke the water supply pipe. To hide their error, the corporation employees tied a rubber tube around the pipe to stop mixing of sewer water with potable water. Soon, the rubber cracked and the sewage seeped into the potable water line. The result is jaundice."
Another resident said that the disease was caused by pure negligence and the trouble had started around a month back.
"What's worse, the officials of the civic body visited the locality only on Sunday, a month after the first complaint was registered regarding the matter," another resident added.
Ishwar Nagar is near New-Dashmesh Nagar, an area that had seen the outbreak of jaundice a few weeks back. At that time the civic body authorities have claimed that the health department was spreading unnecessary panic and there was no fault in the water supply lines.
This time, however, there is a clear case of the MC cutting corners off their work and leading to a lot of unnecessary for families in Ishwar Nagar.
There are 33 jaundice patients in street number 3 of Ishwar Nagar. I have asked my staff to set up a camp in the locality and help people cope with the outbreak.
RL Bassan, civil surgeon
WHAT IS JAUNCDICE
A condition in which the skin and and the whites of the eyes become yellow, urine darkens, and the color of stool becomes lighter than normal.
Jaundice occurs when the liver is not working properly or when a bile duct is blocked.