The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Civic body faces enteric death charge

The enteric outbreak in Howrah is headed back to the court. Howrah Gantantrik Nagarik Samity, a social welfare organisation, has threatened to file a “murder case” against the local civic authorities for “killing” five people by flouting the directive of the high court Green Bench.

Subhas Dutta, general secretary of the Samity, alleged on Tuesday that on the basis of his plea, the green bench, comprising Justice A.K. Mathur and Justice J. Biswas, had passed an order directing the Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC) to immediately seal a leak in the drinking water supply lines.

“The municipality has killed people by supplying impure water and we will lodge a criminal case under Section 304 against it,” said Dutta, adding that an order would also be sought for compensation of the enteric victims’ families.

The court had passed the order a month ago after seeing photographs submitted by Dutta, showing how night-soil water was mixing with the drinking water through a leak in the supply lines near the Howrah dhapa grounds. Dutta alleged that the civic authorities had not carried out the order. “I will refer the matter before the green bench after the court reopens,” he said. He said laboratory tests of samples have shown that the water supplied to 60 per cent areas of the town was not fit for consumption.

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