In a major damage control mode, the local administration on Friday transferred sub-divisional officer Suresh Bansal, while ordering a detailed inquiry to fix the accountability of those responsible behind the diarrhoea outbreak in Samana that has reportedly claimed six lives so far.
Besides this, it has restored the water supply through tankers in all the affected areas in its bid to contain the diarrhoea outbreak in Samana sub-division.
Deputy commissioner Ramvir Singh told HT that the administration would make sure that adequate action was taken against those responsible behind the incident after thorough inquiry.
“For the time being, all the necessary steps to contain the disease are being taken. For instance, the water supply has been blocked in all the affected areas and has been replaced with tankers. The public announcement has started in the city on regular basis to spread maximum awareness,” he added.
Samana’s SDM Amareshwar Singh informed that Tibbi Mohalla, Sarai Patti, Grama Patti and Tej Colony were among the areas where the tank water would be supplied till the time the situation did not turn normal and the administration was fully assured that the water supply was potable and safe.
He refused to comment on the possible reasons behind diarrhoea outbreak in the city and said the water sample report of the health department was expected by Saturday. “This is likely to throw some light on the exact reasons,” he added.
It is learnt that the initial assessment of the health department has revealed that the ‘diarrhoea’ like situation, which has erupted in the city, was due to the mixing of water supply with sewage.
Health dept, too, steps up efforts
The Health department, too, has stepped up its vigil in affected areas by organising permanent camps. Patiala civil surgeon Rajiv Bhalla said the fresh stool samples of the affected patients were again taken, while the old reports were awaited tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the toll of patients down with diarrhoea reached to 153 after 30 fresh cases were reported today. Bhalla said except 30 patients in the hospital, rest all have been discharged with proper treatment. “Many were sent home from OPD too,” he said.
Infant death further creates panic in Samana
Samana SMO Ranjit Singh said three-month old infant Shiv was brought dead to the hospital today afternoon from Tej colony, which is one of the affected areas.
The deceased’s grandfather Kapoor Singh said the boy was rushed to hospital after he began vomiting where doctors declared him dead.
Child doctor Deepika Bansal, who checked the infant, said the child was already dead when he was brought here. She could not conduct any investigation as the family took him back. She suspected that he might have died due to asphyxia.
Dr Gandhi demands Samana MLA Rakhra’s resignation
The diarrhoea outbreak in Samana has led to political slugfest after Patiala MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi on Friday demanded resignation of cabinet minister Surjit Singh Rakhra over six causalities and piling of diarrhoea patients in Samana.
“It is shameful that Rakhra, who represents this constituency and even holds charge of water supply and sanitation as minister, could not ensure potable water in his own area and let innocent people die there,” said Gandhi after meeting the diarrhoea patients in Samana civil hospital.
Demanding at least Rs 10 lakh compensation to family of those who have died so far, he said this amounted to criminal negligence and Rakhra had no right to represent these people after such an unfortunate incident. “It is painful that in 21st century, people are dying of gastroenteritis, which is completely curable,” he said.
Blaming the Badal-led state government for this catastrophe, he said these deaths exposed the government’s claims of providing adequate civic amenities to the state residents. “Every now and then there is epidemic like situation reported from different parts of Punjab, which is a clear sign of Badal government’s failure,” he added. He demanded the administration to fix the problem at the earliest by laying down fresh water pipes and plug all the loopholes.