With the beginning of the rainy season, water-borne diseases have become increasingly common. A five-month-old girl, Sunaina, died due to diarrhoea in the Manjit Nagar locality in Basti Guzan. Local bodies minister Chunni Lal Bhagat represents the area in the assembly. Nearly 25 residents are also suffering from stomach-related ailments.
District health officials set up a health camp in the area on Wednesday and provided medicines to the needy. A huge rush of people was witnessed at the camp. Two weeks ago, five cases of jaundice and several cases of residents suffering from water-borne diseases were reported from Basit Peer Daad, which too falls in the minister Bhagat's constituency.
Officiating civil surgeon Dr RL Bassan said that more than 100 people appeared for a check-up Of these, 25 were found suffering from diarrhoea. Sushma Rani,60, grandmother of the 5-month-old Sunaina, said: "The incident has shocked us. It was all so sudden. The child fell ill and was detected with diarrhoea on Saturday night. We took her to a private hospital where she died of water loss on Sunday."
"The area is full of patients with water-borne diseases. Each house-hold has at least one or two patients, particularly children impacted by such diseases."
Richa Rani (26), the mother of eight-month-old Tarun, rued: "My son has also been admitted to a private hospital and undergoing treatment for diarrhoea. He is recuperating, but we are not sure of the future as more people have started falling ill."
Officiating civil surgeon, Dr RL Bassan, who visited the area, said: "Contaminated water supply is the main cause of the diseases. The main pipe supplying water is good, but the fault lies at the points from where connections have been given to households. At these points, the pipes are leaking, which leads to mixing of drinking water with the drain water."
He said that the matter had been brought to the notice of the municipal corporation. Sadhu Saran Pandey, caretaker of the temple in the area, said: "Though, children are more vulnerable, elders are also falling prey to the disease. My wife, Shakuntla Pandey, has also been down with diarrhoea for the past one week. We could not diagnose the ailment initially, However, now we have realised that there was a problem with the water supply."
Jalandhar additional commissioner PS Jaggi claimed that the water being supplied was not contaminated, adding that the disease had been spreading due to the unhealthy eating habits of residents.