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Water contamination leads to Hepatitis E

While work on the stormwater drainage pipelines project at Hiravadi area in Ahmedabad has damaged underground sewage pipeline and the Town Planning 12 bore water pipelines...

Written by Amrita Didyala | Ahmedabad |
April 22, 2009 11:53:23 pm

While work on the stormwater drainage pipelines project at Hiravadi area in Ahmedabad has damaged underground sewage pipeline and the Town Planning 12 bore water pipelines,a steady rise in the number of Hepatitis E cases has been reported in the area.

The water-borne disease has already affected 411 residents of the area,most of whom are diamond workers. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)’s water supply department suspects use of illegal PVC water pipelines to draw water provided by the corporation.

Dr Mehul Acharya,the assistant health officer at the Urban Health Centre in the area said,“While the TP12 bore pipelines damaged by the stormwater drainage pipelines have been repaired at three to four places like the ones near the road in front of the Payal school and the GD High School,contamination is suspected at these locations.”

The storm water drainage pipelines are being laid at 5 to 15 feet depth while the sewage lines are at about 10-18 feet. The TP 12 bore well pipelines are at a depth of 3 to 5 feet. Moreover,the Hiravadi road stretch itself has over 1,100 illegal connections,say officials.

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The city engineer in charge of the area,VH Patel,said,“All these lines keep on intersecting one another at various locations but no major damage has been noticed in any of these places. Moreover,the lead joints of the TP 12 bore water pipelines,which are melting due to heat,are causing leakages. It is also suspected that large number of illegal PVC pipelines laid in the area to draw water may have led to leakages.”

He said,“The area has almost one illegal connection in front of every house. The number easily exceeds 1,100 while less than 100 connections have been provided by the AMC. As water connections in the area are mostly illegal,even in case of a leakage the residents make no complaints.”

The residents,however,are clueless about the contamination. They have not witnessed a change in colour of water or have suspected contamination.

Babulal Zaveri Patel,a jobless diamond worker whose son (Akash) is suffering from the virus attack,says,“We got my son’s blood sample tested and found out that it was jaundice. We could not understand the reason behind this,as there has been no sign of contamination in the water. However,the health department officials have distributed chlorine tablets.”

Meanwhile,the area has had no TP scheme finalised in the past two to three years,say officials. They said the houses in the area do not have the approval of the town planning department and hence the residents are ineligible for a water connection by the AMC.

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