Post Aila, diseases kill 22 in Sunderbans
In the wake of the death and destruction brought by the cyclone, Aila, 22 people died of enteric diseases in the Gosaba area alone in the Sunderbans, the southernmost tip of West Bengal.
According to the local administration, the epidemic spread, as the river water was contaminated by thousands of dead cattle floating around. And the residents have been forced to drink the water due to an acute shortage of potable water.
The administration has requested chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya to send people from Kolkata Municipal Corporation to clean up the river, since the Border Security Force and the National Disaster Relief Force had refused to remove the carcasses.
A visit to the affected areas revealed that in the entire region, there was not a drop of water to drink and government aid had not yet reached the people.
Sources in the administration, who did not want to be identified, said it was only on Thursday evening after Sunderbans affairs minister Kanti Ganguly took up the matter with the chief minister that the administration got down to business.
What’s more, very little has so far been done to send medical help, drinking water and medicines to the affected areas. But the administration is now in a hurry to make things look better before the chief minister’s visit on Sunday, although previous visits of three ministers have changed little in the area.