The Nawanshahr administration will start a door-to-door special cancer survey at Tonsa in the district following reports of rise in the number of cancer patients in the village due to alleged pollution in groundwater by industrial discharge.
On December 6, Hindustan Times had highlighted the plight of villagers who accused the state government and district administration of ignoring the problem of polluted drinking water in the past few years.
As many as nine deaths were reported at Tonsa village, situated on the Nawanshahr-Ropar district border, in the past four months due to cancer.
Deputy commissioner Anindita Mitra has issued the orders and asked the health officials to form special teams of ASHA workers, ANMs (auxiliary nurse and midwives) and doctors to conduct a door-to-door survey in the affected village.
Industries surround Tonsa village, which has a population of 1980. Villagers here say pollutants discharged from industries located nearby are causing the problem.
“This will be a preliminary survey under which teams will visit all houses to detect symptoms of cancer among local residents, if any. After covering the entire village, those found with symptoms of the disease will be taken to the civil hospital for screening test,” deputy commissioner Mitra said.
Earlier, there were reports of contaminated drinking water at Tonsa as well. The water and sanitation department had also collected water samples which failed purity test. Despite this, the villagers are still getting supply of contaminated water in the village.
The deputy commissioner further said a proposal to construct a deep bore (of 250 metre depth) is in under consideration and this will be sent to the government for funds.The survey will end within a week and action will be taken accordingly, she added.
Civil surgeon Dharam Pal said once the symptom-based survey concludes, the suspected cancer patients will be taken for screening test.
Talks are on with United Kingdom-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), Roko Cancer, in this direction, he added.
In the month-long statewide survey from December 1, 2013, to January 1, 2014, shocking figures had come to the fore in the district and it was found that 500 people suffered from cancer in last five years.
As many as 540 people lost their lives due to the deadly disease and 1,230 suspected cases of cancer were also detected during the survey in the district.
As per the data collected from the health department, as many as 114 cancer patients were registered till November 15 this year with the health department. This time, the number may cross 128, the last year figure.