19 children in Ghaziabad condominium fall ill, water samples sent for testing
Health officials said the 19 children complained of abdominal pain, vomiting and loose motions. The department inspected the water tank and collected the samples; the report is awaited
A number of children at Landcraft Golflinks, adjacent to National Highway 9, reportedly fell sick on Wednesday, following which teams from the health department had to be rushed to the residential society for medical assistance.
Health officials said the 19 children complained of abdominal pain, vomiting and loose motions.
Officials said that on Wednesday morning, the health department received complaints from residents of the high-rise about a number of children falling ill. They said that residents alleged impurities in the water tank of the residential complex may have been the cause of the children’s sickness.
Gaurav Verma, a resident at the high-rise, said his wife and daughter suffered bouts of vomiting, nausea and abdominal pain. “Initially, a resident posted about his family members complaining of health issues on our internal group, following which others also reported same complications. We reported the issue to the office of the district magistrate and also put it out on Twitter. Thereafter, teams from the health department arrived, took water samples for testing and also checked residents,” said Verma.
Residents said the lid of the water tanks were found open and litter was found inside. The high-rise has about 1,700 flats. Almost 60-70% of the flats are occupied.
“It seems impurities in the water tanks could be the reason behind the health issues. A number of children vomited and complained of abdominal pain on Wednesday morning,” said P P Karnwal, another resident.
“About 19 children suffered health complications and we immediately sent teams for check-up. They were provided with proper medical treatment. The health issues were not serious and none of the children needed hospitalisation. We also checked adults there. Overall, 52 people were checked,” said chief medical officer Dr Bhavtosh Shankhdhar.
“Our teams have also collected samples from water tanks as residents alleged that there were impurities in the water tank. The test reports will arrive in a day or two. If residents need us to, we will put up another health check-up camp on Thursday,” said Shankhdhar.
Officials from the health department, who supervised the medical check up, said they inspected the water tank.
“We found algae and pouches of gutkha in the water tank. The teams from our lab at MMG Hospital collected water samples and found the PH levels were out of range. The test reports are awaited,” said a medical officer who supervised the water sample testing.
Many residents of the society also staged a protest against the maintenance staff of the high-rise. Officials of the maintenance firm did not respond to calls and messages seeking a response regarding the issue.
Lalit Jaiswal, director of the real estate firm which developed the housing society, confirmed the health department visited the high-rise and conducted a medical check up and that one was reportedly serious.
About the impurities in the water tank, Jaiswal said, “We have to check which overhead water tank the residents are complaining about--the one which supplies water for bathing or the one which supplies drinking water. Whatever the issue may be, the responsibility lies with maintenance agency as we have given them the contract of maintenance of facilities.”
Meanwhile, environmentalists said the authorities should also check the quality of groundwater.
“Apart from testing the water in overhead tanks, the authorities should also test groundwater samples to see if there is any contamination,” said Akash Vashishtha, a city-based environmentalist.
Meanwhile, district magistrate has formed a committee, which will be headed by additional district magistrate (city), an additional CMO and general manager (water works) of the Ghaziabad municipal corporation to conduct inquiry in the matter and submit a report within 15 days, said a spokesperson from the district magistrate’s office.