Cancer claims two lives in Sunam village over a week | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Cancer claims two lives in Sunam village over a week

punjab Updated: Oct 11, 2012 20:37 IST
Navrajdeep Singh

Residents of Bakhshiwala village near Sunam, 15 km from here, are an insecure lot after the death of two villagers due to cancer over the past week.

Villagers lament that cancer has claimed 10 people so far this year, but the district health department has put the toll at three.

The recent victims have been identified as Karamjit kaur and Habibam Begum.

On Thursday, villagers claimed that polluted water drinking was the reason for the spate of deaths due to cancer.

In view of the complaints, deputy commissioner Kumar Rahul directed the health department to visit the village and take stock of the situation.

A team of three doctors reached the village on Wednesday evening, but failed to take water samples for laboratory testing.

When contacted, civil surgeon Dr HS Bali confirmed that both women were diagnosed with cancer and died midway within the treatment.

On the reasons for not taking water samples, he said: "Polluted water is not the only factor that causes cancer. It was also not necessary to take samples as the disease has been found to be scattered. There are other reasons for cancer."

He said the team of doctors and two other officers had gone through the reports of cancer patients and also met their family members. He claimed that only a single patient had been found to be suffering from the disease.

Village resident Gurdial Singh said that instead of going into figures and numbers, officials of the health department should take serious note of the deaths. "The team of doctors made a formal visit and did not even bother to collect water samples, in spite of requests from residents. The department should zero in on the root cause."

Another villager Dr Dharam Singh said that the area needed the installation of an RO system for purification of water before drinking.

Polluted water might be the reason for cancer cases

Cancer cases can either be blamed on the lackadaisical attitude of the village panchayat or negligence on the part of district administration as the village waste is not disposed off properly.

Hardev Singh Bakhsiwala, a resident of the village, said waste material including sanitary and cow dung waste was all thrown in the village pond.

"To avoid overflowing of the pond, the sarpanch along with other members had dug a 150-feet bore adjacent to the pond. Villagers have been throwing waste material directly into the bore for over three years now." He said this could be a reason for contamination of water.

"We demanding the testing of water samples so that we can be sure that we are drinking and using clean water only."

When apprised of the matter, the DC Kumar Rahul said he would instruct health department officials to collect water samples and get these tested.