A day after diarrhoea claimed three lives at Parkash Nagar, Jawaddi, as many as 82 new cases of diarrhoea and gastroenteritis were reported from the area on Thursday.
Residents of the 'vehras' claimed the water supplied in the area was stinking for the past few days, but problem of contamination was old. However, the municipal corporation that supplied the water had paid no heed.
Binder Singh, whose niece is undergoing treatment at the medical camp being organised by the health department, said the water supply was contaminated for the past three months in a 'vehra', but authorities concerned had failed to act.
Another resident, Pappu Gupta, said, “The water has been stinking badly for the past few days. My seven-year-old daughter is suffering from diarrhoea and undergoing treatment at the medical camp.”
Mandeep Kaur of Jawaddi Kalan said her daughter, Jaskaran Kaur, had vomited five times after which she rushed her to the medical camp. She also claimed that the water was contaminated.
Ward number 60 councillor Jaswinder Bholla had highlighted the matter of contaminated water supply in Chotti Jawaddi and adjoining areas, only around 100 metres from Parkash Nagar, which is in ward number 59, during MC's House meeting in February this year.
Meanwhile, taking note of the diarrhoea outbreak, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has demanded resignation of mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria. AAP leader HS Phoolka said Gohalwaria resign taking responsibility of deaths due to contaminated water.
Water supply was safe, claims MC
On the other hand, MC superintending engineer Manjit Singh claimed that the water supplied by MC was not contaminated, adding that residents fell ill due to living in unsanitary conditions.
He said MC teams were conducting a survey to check leakage in water supply pipes in Parkash Nagar, Jawaddi, Chotti Jawaddi and nearby Punjabi Bagh area. If any faulty pipes were found, action would be taken, he added, besides stating that proper chlorination was being done.
Meanwhile more than two dozen sweepers sprung into action to conduct cleanliness drive in Parkash Nagar, Jawaddi and Chotti Jawaddi.
'Outbreak due to contaminated water'
Meanwhile, a health department official claimed that residents consuming water from submersible pumps had no complaints of diarrhoea or gastroenteritis, and only those drinking water supplied by the MC were falling sick.
District epidemiologist Dr Anil Verma said, “A total of 121 patients were examined till 5pm at the medical camp in Parkash Nagar. Of them, 82 cases were confirmed to be suffering from diarrhoea. As many as 12 cases have been referred to the civil hospital.”
Stating that water samples were being collected, besides spreading awareness on maintaining sanitation, Dr Verma said all patients were responding well to treatment.
“A total of 734 houses were surveyed covering a population of 3,432. As many as 43 group meetings were conducted and health education was given. 1,004 ORS packets, 2,580 tablets of chlorine and pamphlets were distributed,” Dr Verma added.
MC wakes up to act against 'illegal' dairy
After outbreak of diarrhoea cases, the MC has acted against the illegal dairy in the area by asking the owners to shift as the dairy was causing filthy conditions.
Cow dung was being collected in the adjoining plot due to which residents were being forced to live under unhygienic conditions. It was also learnt that the sewerage often remained blocked as cow dung was being released into the sewer lane.
Illegal vehras invite diseases
Though the MC has acted against the dairy for violating the norms, no action is being taken against the 'vehras' that have been constructed in violation of building bylaws. Around 75 persons are living in 14 rooms of the same 'vehra' where two deaths were reported. There are only two toilets and one water supply connection for around 75 persons. Lack of sanitation is another issue at all vehras, which also leads to various skin problems.
PS Ghuman, zonal commissioner of MC, said, “We are going to register a case against the dairy owner under the MC Act, as a dairy cannot be run in city areas. We cannot take immediate action against the 'vehras' as many people are living there but we will act later.”
Faulty connections disconnected
According to MC officials, 10 faulty water connections were disconnected on Thursday and action would be initiated as per the law.
Residents demand free treatment
Meanwhile, as some residents are undergoing treatment in private hospitals, locals blocked traffic on Wednesday night demanding free treatment for the patients. They also demanded safe drinking water supply.