Acting on the complaint of Shimla deputy mayor Tikender Singh Panwar filed 10 days ago, the local police have formed a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the supply of contaminated water that has led to jaundice outbreak in the state capital.
The SIT, headed by additional superintendent of police (ASP) Sandeep Dhawal, comprises ASP Gaurav Singh, inspector PD Thakur, sub-inspector Des Raj Guleria and assistant sub-inspector Kuldeep Singh as members.
“The jaundice outbreak in Shimla is due to contaminated water, which a well-known fact. We will investigate the matter and find out the culprit,” ASP Dhawal said.
Based on the findings of the probe, names would be added in the FIR filed on Panwar’s complaint at Dhalli police station on January 6.
The case was registered under Sections 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 277 (fouling water of public spring or reservoir), 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 43 and 44 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act.
So far, Shimla MC has been blaming the state government and the contractor who was managing the sewerage treatment plant at Malyana, while the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been gunning for the government and the Shimla MC.
After the outbreak of jaundice cases, the Shimla MC had constituted a five-member that in its December-29 report concluded that the Sewerage Treatment Plant at Malyana was under-utilised and not functioning properly.
On visiting the plant, Shimla mayor Sanjay Chauhan and Panwar had found sewage merging with water in Ashwani Khud. The MC eventually decided not to accept water supply from Ashwani Khud, until water safety reports came negative.
Jaundice has so far claimed three lives in the hill state capital, while leaving over 700 others sick.