As cases of gastroenteritis triggered by contaminated water supply are being reported, a three-year-old girl died at the slums near Preet Nagar, Tajpur Road, on Sunday.
Besides, 8 more persons, including six children from Baba Jeevan Singh Nagar, Preet Nagar and adjoining areas on Tajpur Road were admitted to Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital.
Three-year-old Shehnaz was suffering from gastroenteritis for the past few days. According to the district health department, she was brought to the medical camp, but after that, she had been getting treatment from a private clinic. She died on Sunday morning at her slum near Preet Nagar and Baba Jeevan Singh Nagar.
It was also learnt that the two siblings of Shehnaz are also suffering from gastroenteritis and have been admitted to the civil hospital.
Following Shehnaz’s death, the residents also staged a protest against the state government and the MC, which have failed to ensure safe drinking water supply to the residents. They expressed their anger that the civic body had never taken their complaints seriously as unhygienic conditions in the area have been posing threat of diseases.
Six-year-old Gagandeep Singh died on Friday while 70-year-old Tehal Singh died on Saturday due to gastroenteritis. In three days, 21 patients were admitted to the civil hospital.
Sources said around 865 persons of these areas have so far visited the medical camp being organised by the health department. Some patients have been suffering from mild diarrhoea or other problems. It was learnt that some patients are taking treatment from private clinics. Many people in these areas are from economically weaker sections. When an HT team visited the area, they said they were forced to drink contaminated water as they had no other source of drinking water. The residents said while MC officials themselves drink purified water, many residents can’t afford to purchase water purifiers.
MLA Ranjit Singh Dhillon said the situation had been brought under control, adding that contaminated water supply was behind the gastroenteritis cases. He claimed that a fault had been found as the water supply pipe was passing under the manhole.
Water pipes are passing at levels lower than those of sewer pipes in these unplanned areas. Councillor of ward 7, Gurpreet Gora, said MC officials were not paying attention to the area. He said new water pipes should be installed at Baba Jeevan Singh Nagar, Bhola Colony, Preet Nagar and adjoining areas.
“I made a complaint pertaining to sewerage leakage at the EWS Colony nearby on July 20, but the situation has not been rectified so far. I also complained about sewerage leakage at Bhola Colony today,” he added.
MC zonal commissioner (zone-B), Kamlesh Bansal, said the situation was under control. He said the girl who died on Sunday was living in slum areas where the MC was not providing water supply. He said the environmental condition in these areas was not good.
Meanwhile, director, Health & Family Welfare Punjab, Dr Bhag Mal along with civil surgeon Dr Renu Chhatwal visited Baba Jeevan Singh Nagar, Preet Nagar and slum area. District epidemiologist Dr Ramesh Kumar told that the director also visited the civil hospital where the patients are getting treatment.