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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

6 die after drinking contaminated water in Karnataka’s newly-created district

An officer in the administration said it might have occurred during the installation of new pipelines for a borewell when probably the sewage water line got damaged and the water got mixed up with the drinking water.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
Updated: October 6, 2021 9:47:30 am
The deaths were reported in Makarabbi village of Hoovinahadagali taluk in the district which houses a population of 2,000. According to sources, it all started from September 23 when two persons died of diarrhoea while another person died on October 1. (Representational)

Six persons of a village died since September 23 in the newly-created Vijayanagar district of Karnataka after they consumed contaminated water, prompting Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to order a probe. Meanwhile, more than 100 persons have been admitted to various hospitals for treatment.

The deaths were reported in Makarabbi village of Hoovinahadagali taluk in the district which houses a population of 2,000. According to sources, it all started from September 23 when two persons died of diarrhoea while another person died on October 1.

An official in the health department, however, said the problem started in early August when many people from the village started falling sick and water samples were collected which showed it is unfit to be used for drinking. Back then, the village was under Ballari district and became a part of Vijayanagar district on October 2. While the new district was being unveiled by the Chief Minister, there were villagers who had already died while some were suffering from vomiting and loose motion.

An officer in the administration said it might have occurred during the installation of new pipelines for a borewell when probably the sewage water line got damaged and the water got mixed up with the drinking water.

The deceased were identified as Lakshmamma (50), Basamma Havanooru (72), Neelappa Belavagi (63), Goneppa (55), Mahadevappa (70) and Kenchamma(73). The district administration has set up a temporary hospital at the village and two ambulances have been stationed to shift patients.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Janardhan H L, in-charge District Health Officer of Vijayanagar district said, prima facie it looks like contamination of water has taken place due to leakage of sewage pipeline. He said, “The patients have been shifted to Ballari, Hospet, Hubballi and measures have been taken such as installing an RO water plant in the village for public consumption.”

Bommai announced Rs 3 lakh compensation for the families of the deceased and have ordered a probe on Tuesday. IAS officer Munish Moudgil has been appointed to investigate the matter. Stating that the incident is a serious issue, he said appropriate measures will be taken.

Deputy Commissioner of Vijayanagar district P Anirudh Shravan confirmed the deaths and said, “the issue first came to light in the last week of August but it was on September 23 when it came to light after two persons died and 54 persons were admitted in various hospitals.”

He said, “We have closed down the water sources in the village, the borewells and have installed an RO plant. The villagers have been told to not use water from other sources and also to boil them. By now, the situation has come under control but the district administration officials are still monitoring the situation.”

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