The rise in the number of jaundice cases in the town, due to contaminated water supply, has caught attention of the Central government. An Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) team will shortly arrive in the town to ascertain the reason behind the outbreak of the epidemic.
“Himachal health minister Kaul Singh Thakur had spoken with me about the outbreak of jaundice. I have assured him of all help,” Union health minister JP Nadda told the media on the sidelines of a function organised at the BJP’s state headquarters to elect new state president.
“Thakur has the Central government’s complete support in overcoming the problem of this water-borne disease. However, it is a matter of concern that it is occurring during winter,” Nadda said, adding that he has directed an ICMR team to study the causes behind the jaundice outbreak.
In the last one month, scores of the people have been taken ill after consuming the water supplied from the Ashwani Khud that has been apparently contaminated with sewage flowing from the treatment plant at Malyana.
Thakur has also written a letter to the IPH department to take immediate measures to stop supply of untreated water.
Fix responsibility: Congress
Meanwhile, the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) has expressed concern over the jaundice cases, especially in New Shimla, Chhota Shimla and Vikasnagar areas, and called on the government to initiate an inquiry to fix responsibility for the lapse.
HPCC media department chairman Naresh Chauhan said the supply of contaminated water from the Ashwani Khud was the cause behind the people contracting jaundice.
Chauhan criticised Shimla MLA Suresh Bhardwaj for not taking up the issue of his constituency with the authorities concerned, alleging that Bhardwaj had failed to perform his duty as a representative of the people. “The BJP MLA should have raised the issue beforehand with the authorities concerned as it would have helped restrict the number of jaundice cases,” he said.
Bhardwaj said the onus of the lapse lies with mayor Sanjay Chauhan and deputy mayor Tikender Panwar because the Shimla municipal corporation is entrusted with the task of clean water supply.
“The chief minister should order an inquiry and guilty officials should be punished for the lapse to set an example,” he added.