The district administration on Saturday declared the water of the twin holy ponds in Radha Kund Dham unfit for use following reports of contamination and has started the process of draining those out. Microbiological tests by the S N Medical College in Agra found bacterial growth in the waters of Radha Kund and Shyam Kund ponds in Radha Kund Dham, District Magistrate Nitin Bansal said.
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The ponds’ water has been declared unfit for use and is being pumped out to prevent untoward incidents, he said. Samples from the ponds were send for tests after more than 200 pilgrims suffered from food poisoning during the Goverdhan festival here earlier this month.
Earlier, it was believed that pilgrims fell ill from consuming contaminated milk and milk products served by community kitchens as Annakut Prasadam during the festival. But with patients flooding health centres even four days after the festival, samples from ponds and water tanks were sent for testing, he said.
“Stickers warning contamination have been put around the ponds,” he said, adding pilgrims have been advised not do ‘aachaman’ (rinse mouth) in the ponds. Instructions to clean tanks in the town have been issued. The management of Meera Manoranjan Dharmshala, which houses maximum pilgrims, have also been instructed the same, Food and Drug Safety officer V K Rathi said.
“Dharamshalas cannot use water from their tanks until it has been checked for contamination and found fit by the food safety department,” the officer said. Residents have been advised to drink boiled water and use water purifiers, Sub-Divisional Magistrate M P Singh said.