Although the district administration and even the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has always blamed illegal water connections passing through sewerage lines as the reason behind diarrhoea outbreak since years, the ground reality remains unchanged.
More than one lakh illegal water connections continue to function under the nose of the MC in city and rural water and sanitation department in villages and both have failed to take any concrete step against the defaulters.
On Sunday, deputy commissioner Rajat Aggarwal along with civil surgeon Dr Subhash Batta and other officials of the health department visited village Sihauda in Payal division where reportedly one person died due to diarrhoea.
While health department confirmed that only person died because of diarrhoea in village, the villagers, however, claimed that four deaths have happened in the village because of diarrhoea.
“DIarrhoea outbreak has been reported from Ravidasiya Basti in the village which is dominated by SC/ST population. Of the total 400 water connections in the village, around 100 are in Ravidasiya Basti and majority of them are illegal. Water pipes have been installed through sewerage lines and drinking water is getting mixed with sewerage water which will obviously contaminate the drinking water. No action has been taken,” said a source from the health department. “We still suspect that one reported death was due to diarrhoea,” said Dr Abnash, district health officer.
In May this year, diarrhoea outbreak was also reported from urban areas of Fatehgarh Mohalla, Prem Vihar and Jawahar Nagar and Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria also blamed illegal water connections for water contamination. He also said that ‘MC will take strict action against defaulters’ but no action was taken except disconnection of some illegal connections in the area.
MC also said that an FIR will be registered against people having illegal water and sewerage connections but without any result. DC Aggarwal on Sunday ordered that primary health centre will be opened for 24 hours in village Sighauda with 24×7 availability of staff and free medicines will be supplied to the poor. Two ambulances were also deputed in village for emergency. DC said that water will be supplied through tanker in village till illegal water connections are not disconnected and faulty pipes not replaced.