Diarrhoea outbreak: 5-year-old dies, 10 taken ill at Jalandhar locality

A five-year-old boy lost his life while more than 10 people were reportedly taken ill by diarrhoea in the last 24 hours at Gandhi Camp locality of the city.

punjab Updated: Jul 10, 2014 21:39 IST
Jatinder Kohli
Jatinder Kohli
Hindustan Times

A five-year-old boy lost his life while more than 10 people were reportedly taken ill by diarrhoea in the last 24 hours at Gandhi Camp locality of the city.

Illegal water connections at the locality are learnt to be the reason behind the disease outbreak.

Victim Aryan's father Ashok Kumar is a labourer.

On Thursday morning, teams of MC and health department rushed to Gandhi Camp dominated by low-caste communities and took stock of situation.

The health teams conducted a survey at about half a dozen streets near Bhagat Kabir temple and distributed 6,000 chlorine tablets to the residents.

The locality has a population of over 10,000.

The health department also held a medical camp during which around 200 residents who complained of vomiting and dysentery were given medicines free of cost.

Sewage at the locality remained choked in the recent past while garbage is dumped near railway tracks in the open.

Sukhbir, a resident of the locality, said his 10-year-old daughter was also suffering from vomiting for last few days after consuming contaminated water.

He said sewage and drains remained choked in their streets but no officials and ward councillor came to take stock of the situation.

Dilip Kumar, another resident suffering from vomiting, said no concrete steps were taken even after residents complained of sewage choking, garbage dumping and supply of contaminated drinking water in their area.

Former councillor Rakesh Kumar Bhagat said, "It is the duty of the area councillor to inform the municipal corporation about the problems the residents are facing."

On the other hand, Jatinder Jind, BJP councillor Sulekha Bhagat's husband, said, "It is an attempt to malign our party's image since the child died of some other disease."

PS Jaggi, superintending engineer of MCJ, said, "We have discontinued 22 temporary water connections which were nearby sewer pipes. We have started a survey to trace illegal water connections at Gandhi Camp locality."

He said water tankers had been moved to the locality and the residents would be provided water from these tankers by the time fault in the water pipelines was not detected.

Civil surgeon Dr RL Bassan said, "Illegal water connections, choked sewer pipes and drains besides garbage dumped in the open are responsible for the disease outbreak in the area."

The district administration and the Municipal Corporation Jalandhar (MCJ) have failed to learn any lesson from the cholera outbreak at Garha in which four persons had died and more than 600 were taken ill in September last year.

The authorities had claimed that action would be taken against those found using illegal water connections but nothing concrete has been done in this direction so far.

Moreover, a lax attitude on the part of the civic body can be gauged from the fact that the health department had collected water samples from the same locality a few days ago. The samples had failed quality test and a report in this regard was also sent to the MC asking it to act accordingly but no action was taken.

Survey held, samples taken

Health teams surveyed 310 houses covering 1,580 residents on Thursday morning.

The teams found five cases of fever, three of diarrhoea. The patients were referred to the civil hospital
9,000 chlorine tablets were distributed; two water samples were taken.MC officials said there are 980 water connections at Gandhi camp and around 20 per cent are of these are illegal.

First Published: Jul 10, 2014 21:36 IST