Ludhiana diarrhoea outbreak: Clueless depts, source of water contamination remains unknown

The water works department needs to check the source of water supplied to the area through tankers, which can be determined only after receiving report of the water samples, rendering the entire process futile

punjab Updated: Jul 27, 2017 15:52 IST
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Ludhiana diarrhoea,diarrhoea outbreak,health
Six of the 11 water samples of water tanks sent to Giaspura area by municipal corporation (MC) have failed the purity test.(HT Photo)

The lack of coordination between the district health department and water works department has left the residents of Sahauli village, Sudhar block exposed to the risk of water-borne diseases.

Despite a diarrhoea outbreak two weeks ago and cholera risk looming large over the area, officials of the water works department claim that they have not received reports of water samples collected from Sahauli village from the health department.

The water works department needs to check the source of water supplied to the area through tankers, which can be determined only after receiving report of the water samples, rendering the entire process futile.

Executive engineer of water works department JS Chahal said the department had no information regarding reports of water tests. But he claimed that there was no issue with the water supply to Sahauli village, even when the diarrhoea cases were being reported, and the problem may be originating from private connections.

On the other hand, district epidemiologist Dr Ramesh Kumar claimed that they had sent the report to the deputy commissioner’s (DC) office that was supposed to forward the reports to the department concerned, adding that he was not sure why the water works department had not received the reports.

According to the health department officials, all seven water samples collected from water tanks sent to Sahauli area by water works department have failed purity test. Also, six of the 11 water samples of water tanks sent to Giaspura area by municipal corporation (MC) have failed the purity test.

Intriguingly, two weeks after the diarrhoea outbreak, the MC officials have also failed to find out the source from where the tanks were filled to determine the cause of water contamination.

Municipal corporation (MC) commissioner Jaskiran Singh said he had marked an inquiry into the supply of contaminated water to areas where diarrhoea cases were being reported.

Residents claim that if water samples of the tanks failed tests, it is possible that the tubewell from where the tanks were filled were storing contaminated water, and may be supplying contaminated water to more households.

Yet residents’ appeal to higher authorities to take immediate and stern action against those responsible for supply of unfit water seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

Around 160 cases of diarrhoea have been reported from the village that also saw two people dying after having symptoms of diarrhoea. Around 700 cases of diarrhoea were also reported from Giaspura area in the last week of June.

First Published: Jul 27, 2017 15:51 IST