Water-borne diseases a threat; MC, health dept busy passing the buck | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Water-borne diseases a threat; MC, health dept busy passing the buck

It is that time of the year again. With summers yet to reach their peak, residents in the city are under the grave threat of suffering from water-borne diseases.

punjab Updated: May 04, 2015 19:43 IST
Nitindra Bandyopadhyay
Jalandhar

It is that time of the year again. With summers yet to reach their peak, residents in the city are under the grave threat of suffering from water-borne diseases. Over the recent past, more than 120 people have got their blood test conducted at the civil hospital and could be suffering from diaorrhea and Hepatitis A and E.

In most cases, consumption of contaminated water through the water supply is likely to be the cause of the disease. Even as the public seems to be battling the disease, officials of the health department and the Jalandhar municipal corporation are busy sparring over taking responsibility to contain the disease. Consequently, no preventive action has been taken to contain the spread of the disease.

Civil surgeon Dr RL Bassan, said, "We are keeping a tab on patients coming from a particular area. If the number of patients from a particular area sees an increase, our team visits these areas to collect blood samples and distribute chlorine tablets."

However, the health department appears to have shirked responsibility and claims any water-borne disease is actually the responsibility of the MC as it supplies potable water to the city.

Officials claim that around 50 water samples had been collected from places like New Dasmesh Nagar, New Kartar Nagar and Basti
Danish Manda in the past three months and many had tested positive for contamination.

In direct contradiction, the MC has been claiming that the water samples had tested negative for any form of contamination and the health department must find out the cause of the outbreak of the disease. Officials have rubbished the health department reports by claiming that the water testing method was an obsolete one.

Dr Bassan adds, "It has been a trend in the city where we noticed that particularly at the end of springs and starting of the summer season there is a surge in the number of patients suffering from water-borne diseases. We had prepared a list and demarcated areas where there is an outbreak every year. A copy of the list is submitted to the MC."

The list prepared in December 2014 has Basti Danish Manda, Basti Bawa Khel, Amrik Nagar, Bhargo Camp, New Dashmesh Nagar and New Kartar Nagar marked as high-risk zones. However, with no preventive steps being taken, there have been several cases from the area.

Mayor Sunil Jyoti said, "Areas which have narrow lanes have higher risk of water contamination as both potable water line and sewer lines are in close proximity. At times there is a minor crack in the water pipes and sewer water seeps into it. The list has such areas mentioned in it. The MCJ tries its best to detect the faults and repair it."

Another possible cause of contaminated water supply reaching homes is revealed by officials of the operation and maintenance department, who claim that that there are cases where people try to get illegal water connection and cracks appears at the joints when the work is not done by proper experts.

However, despite having a provision of getting a First-Information Report (FIR) lodged against such people, the MCJ has not booked a single person.

With the MCJ in a denial mode, the number of patients suffering from water borne disease is swelling by the day.

Areas susceptible

The list prepared in December 2014 has Basti Danish Manda, Basti Bawa Khel, Amrik Nagar, Bhargo Camp, New Dashmesh Nagar and New Kartar Nagar marked as high-risk zones. However, with no preventive steps being taken, there have been several cases from the area.

We are keeping a tab on patients coming from a particular area. If the number of patients from a particular area sees an increase, our team visits these areas to collect blood samples and distribute chlorine tablets.

Dr RL Bassan, civil surgeon