Even after one person died and dozens fell ill in Santpura locality in Kapurthala after drinking contaminated water during the past four days, municipal council (MC) officials have failed to locate the fault in the water supply pipeline.
According to information, Prem Pal of Santpura locality died on Friday after allegedly consuming contaminated water in from the taps while two residents of the locality were found suffering from diarrhoea and have been undergoing treatment since Friday. About eight patients have been undergoing treatment for diarrhoea. However, the health department claimed that Pal died due to a sudden cardiac arrest and not of diarrhoea.
Showing a halfhearted response, MC officials are yet to send water samples collected from the locality for testing. Officials have also failed to find the reason of contamination of water.
Family members of the deceased claimed that they have approached the MC and area councillor several time in the past two weeks, complaining of contaminated water, but to no avail.
MC officials blamed the residents for contamination of water saying they try and tamper with the mainline in an unauthorised manner, damaging it which results in mixing of sewage water in the main water supply.
Senior medical officer (SMO) Roshan Lal said that the department had written to MC on Friday to take appropriate action to rectify the water supply fault.
He said that there was yet not any new case of diarrhoea but residents were found suffering from stomach pain and vomiting due to dirty water supply.
Amritpal Kaur, president of Kapurthala municipal council, said that she had personally conducted inspection thrice to ensure basic amenities were delivered to people. “We are rectifying the fault and it will be rectified soon. The cause of the death of a resident is yet to be ascertained,” she added.
USE OF ‘TULLU’ PUMPS UNCHECKED
The unhealthy practice of fetching water by using ‘tullu’ pumps goes on unchecked in the city though it has been banned by the MC.
Sources said that around 20,000 households depend on ‘tullu’ pumps and use them routine water supply. However, MC officials could not say anything on their failure to check the use of these pumps.
SK Aggarwal, executive engineer, MC, said that they would soon start a special drive to crack a whip on violators and ‘tullu’ pumps will be sealed while a fine would also be imposed on defaulters.
MLA PROTESTS AGAINST MC
Protesting over poor infrastructure and lackadaisical attitude of the Kapurthala MC, Congress MLA Rana Gurjeet Singh, along with his supporters’ held a protest for one hour outside the MC office . The MLA said that MC has failed to develop the city during last nine years under the SAD-BJP government and the sewerage system and water supply are worst affected, leading to water-borne diseases.
“Santpura residents had filed several complaints with the MC that water supply is contaminated, but the MC did not act.” The MLA also met deputy commissioner Jaskiran Singh and demanded compensation of `20 lakh to the family of the deceased.
SYMPTOMS OF DIARRHOEA
Passage of loose or liquid stools more frequently than is normal. Gastrointestinal infection may also incur. Depending on the type of infection, stool may be watery (for example in cholera) or passed with blood (in dysentery for example).
Infection may be caused by a host of bacterial, viral and parasitic organisms most of which can be spread by contaminated water. It is more common when there is a shortage of clean water for drinking, cooking and cleaning and basic hygiene is important in prevention.