Around 45 people of Lopo village under Nihal Singh Wala sub-division, 17 km from here, were admitted to the primary health centre on Monday after they reported of ill health, having consumed contaminated water.
There have been reports of outbreak of a disease in the village in the past 72 hours.
Around 1,500 residents of Lohatbadhi Colony of the village, inhabited mostly by the poor, have no other alternative but to consume contaminated groundwater, making them prone to various diseases.
This belies the state government's tall claims of providing reverse osmosis (RO)-treated drinking water to the residents of the district, where there is a high fluoride content and high concentration of uranium in groundwater and heavy metal in the surface (canal) water.
Around 300 residents of the village were also given medicines on Monday. Panic gripped the colony with people queuing up for medical help as a team of doctors distributed medicines.
Sunil Verma, senior medical officer (SMO) of Patto Heera Singh area, said special teams of the health department were deployed at Lopo for providing medicines to the patients. "We found that about 45 people were suffering after having consumed contaminated water. I will report this to the authorities. For now, the situation is under control," said the SMO.
Chamkaur Singh, a social worker of the village, said around 1,500 dwellers of Lohatbadhi Colony and another 500 of Nangal Basti have been struggling to get clean drinking water for the past one year.
"Many poor people fetch drinking water from a hand pump 2km away from the village." The health department has declared that water unfit for drinking, but we don't have any other source," he added.
People in the affected colonies have dug up holes outside their houses to puncture the main line running below, for getting more water than the trickle in their taps. "Many families in the village are yet to pay fine for fitting pumps on the supply lines, so the authorities have declined to act on their complaints," said Chamkaur Singh.
Gurdev Singh, who was suffering from high fever, said the poor colonies in the village had no option but to drink contaminated water from hand pumps.
The entire village has installed illegal motor-driven pumps, so minimum water reaches the colonies inhabited by the downtrodden. "The heat wave has forced us to beg twice for drinking water," said Baldev Singh.
CMO Dr Sabodh Gupta said the matter would be discussed with local health officials and the department would provide medicine to the poor patients free of cost.