Drinking water in parts of Agartala city was found to “unsafe” for human consumption after experts found the presence of harmful bacteria was above the safety limit. According to tests conducted by Agartala Government Medical College (AGMC), samples collected from Shibnagar, Shantipara and Math Chowmuhani areas in Agartala revealed that Escherichia coli, a type of bacteria generally found in the intestine, was 10 times above the safety limit. However, different strains of E. coli can cause severe damage to the kidneys and other fatal infections.
Associate Professor Tapan Majumder from Department of Microbiology, AGMC, told indianexpress.com that patients from the three areas were hospitalized in large numbers in the past few days, with complaints of loose motion, vomiting.
“Less than 10 Minimal Probability Number (MPN) of Escherichia coli bacteria is considered safe in drinking water. Our test has revealed over 100 MPN per 100 ml of water sample. This is a very high risk or unsafe of human consumption”, Dr. Majumder said.
He also said drinking water supply pipelines might have leaked or the water collected from a source like river might have been contaminated at the first place. Chief Engineer of Drinking Water and Sanitation Somesh Chandra Das was not available for his comments.
The samples were collected from by experts from the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), a subsidiary of the Directorate of Health and Preventive Medicine on December 17. All the samples were collected directly from public water supply pipeline distributing “treated water” from Collegetilla Water Treatment Plant.