Odisha Sun Times Bureau/IANS
Sambalpur, Dec 21:
With two more deaths taking place on Saturday, the toll in the outbreak of jaundice in Odisha’s Sambalpur town has risen to 19.
Satyananda Kanda (19), a Plus Two student of TF college in the town, died at a private hosiptal in Cuttack in the wee hours of Saturday. A resident of Explosives Colony in the town, Satyananda had been shifted to Cuttack after his condition deteriorated.
Bir Pok (42), another person from Sambalpur affected by jaundice who had been shifted to a private hospital in Bhubaneswar, also succumbed to the killer disease yesterday morning. An employee of the Sambalpur Corporation, he had come back to the town midway through his treatment in the state capital due to financial constraints.
A filthy drainage system and damaged water supply pipelines are being blamed for the spread of the disease in the town that has a population of nearly two lakh.
An official said the water meant for drinking was contaminated because of the leakages in the rusty supply pipelines. Nearly 1,270 people in the town have been infected by the disease since May, he added.
Although only three to four cases are reported daily as compared to the 20-30 cases reported daily earlien, the situation is not fully under control despite taking several measures, the official said.
The administration has stopped the supply of drinking water through pipelines and is using tankers to meet the demand.
Health officials have launched a door-to-door campaign and are urging people to drink boiled water only.
NGO Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO) said the Mahanadi river which supplies water to the city has been heavily polluted as huge quantities of sewage water and solid waste is discharged into it.
“At least 40 percent of the city residents defecate in open. More than 10,000 people defecate every day on the banks of the river,” WIO convener Ranjan Panda said.