Municipal corporation (MC) seems to have put city residents' health on the back burner.In a recent survey conducted by the district health department, as many as 10 samples of water, collected from various residential locations in the city in March, were found to be unfit for human consumption.
The monthly report of the health department revealed that bacterial contamination was found in these samples collected from tap water supplied by the MC, which could cause serious illnesses like gastroenteritis and diarrhoea.
The health department had collected 35 samples after receiving complaints from residents from Hargobind Nagar, Giaspura, New Kundan Puri, Adarsh Nagar on Chandigarh road and New Janta Nagar.
District epidemiologist Dr Puneet Juneja said most of the failed samples contained Coliform Bacteria, which made the water unfit for human consumption, adding that chlorination of water should be conducted regularly, and any leakage in water supply connection should be repaired.
He said the results of the samples would be intimated to the civic body so that safety measures could be taken.
A resident of New Janta Nagar, requesting anonymity, said a number of locals had complained about unsafe water to the civic authorities, but in vain. He urged the MC authorities to ensure chlorination of water.
When contacted, MC commissioner Rakesh Kumar said the civic body would take measures to provide safe drinking water to city residents. He said they had not received the report of the failed water samples from the health department.
In September 2012, more than 50 cases of gastroentritis and diarrhoea were reported from Jawahar Nagar camp. The reason behind the breakout was contaminated water.
Dr Dinesh Gupta, consultant gastroenterologist at Deepak Hospital, Ludhiana, said Coliform bacteria was found in most of the failed water samples. He said bacterial contamination of water could cause gastroenteritis, diarrhoea, jaundice, dehydration, stomachache and other infections. He advised residents to drink boiled or filtered water only. Chlorination was another way to ensure safe drinking water, he added.
Civil surgeon Dr Subhash Batta said the MC would be informed about the failed water samples and be advised to take safety measures, adding that samples would be collected again after one month.