Water check after jaundice

The outbreak of jaundice at Munda Sahi has put the civic body and the public health engineering organisation on high alert with both the agencies joining hands to inspect drinking water quality at various slums in the city.

By Our Correspondent in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 20.03.17
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Children drink water from a tank near a slum at Airfield in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar, March 19: The outbreak of jaundice at Munda Sahi has put the civic body and the public health engineering organisation on high alert with both the agencies joining hands to inspect drinking water quality at various slums in the city.

Last week, 40 people from Munda Sahi have been diagnosed with hepatitis, triggering panic among slum-dwellers.

A senior official of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation said that they were checking water samples from various water sources, such as tube wells, wells and bore wells, at Salia Sahi and Jharana slums.

"If any water sample is found with less-than-normal chlorine content, the source of the water will be sealed. We have already sealed a number of wells and bore wells at Munda Sahi," said additional district medical officer of Khurdha Raja Kishore Jena.

On the other hand, the municipal corporation has also started an awareness drive about water-borne diseases.

"Halogen tablets are being distributed in the slums and we have been asking the slum-dwellers to drink water supplied by us only. We are also distributing leaflets to generate awareness among the people," said mayor Ananta Narayan Jena.

About 50 cases of hepatitis were reported from Jharana slum near the chief minister's residence Naveen Nivas in April last year. Several slum-dwellers have blamed the civic authorities for not been able to provide safe drinking water to the people.

"The civic body is spending crores of rupees on street lighting and other infrastructures. But, it has not been able to provide safe drinking water to the people," said slum-dweller Akshya Moharana.