A 40-year-old woman died on Wednesday and around 40 people of the local Indira Colony have been suffering from high fever, reportedly after consuming contaminated water.
There have been reports of outbreak of a disease in the colony in the past 72 hours.
The deceased has been identified as Binder Kaur. The health department has said that she was also diabetic.
This belies the state government's claims of providing RO-treated drinking water to the residents of the district, where there is a high fluoride content and high concentration of uranium in groundwater and heavy metal in the surface (canal) water.
The residents of Indira Colony have been facing a huge shortage of drinking water for the past two years, but nobody allegedly heard their problem.
Around 300 residents of the colony were also given medicines on Wednesday. Panic gripped the colony with people queuing up for medical help as a team of doctors distributed medicines. The residents of the colony, inhabited mostly by the poor, have no other alternative but to consume contaminated groundwater, making them prone to various diseases.
After the death of Binder Kaur, the angry residents of the colony staged a protest and raised anti-government slogans.
Buta Singh, husband of the deceased, said contaminated water had been supplied from the municipal corporation's water tank for the past few months. "If the district administration conducts the post-mortem, the truth behind her death can come out. Many poor people fetch drinking water from government taps. The health department had declared that water unfit for drinking, but we don't have any other source," he added.
Phoolan Rani, Chaudhary Balvir Singh, Manju Rani, Kulwinder Singh and Vijay Sangwan, all residents of Indira Colony, said most people had been suffering from high fever after consuming contaminated water. "We had approached senior officials of the municipal corporation and the health department but the administration did not do its best for us," they said.
Deputy commissioner Parminder Singh Gill said he had told sub-divisional magistrate Surinder Kaur to conduct an inquiry.
Gill said, "I have ordered an inquiry and demanded a report from the water and sanitation department. After receiving the report, I will take further action. The water supply from the village waterworks has been suspended. We have sent water tankers for providing safe water to the colony."