Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 18:
After the jaundice menace in several cities and towns of Odisha, including Sambalpur, Cuttack, Puri, Bolangir and reserve police barracks here that have led to scores of deaths, the threat of the dreaded water-borne disease looms large over large parts of the capital city.
In the absence of water treatment plants in the capital city, underground water of Prashanti Vihar, Laxmi Sagar and Baramunda have been found to be contaminated.
The Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) had sent water sample from Prashanti Vihar for testing after receiving complaints of stinking water from bore wells.
“The results revealed that the water in the area is polluted by waste water discharged from a nearby seafood factory and a university. The seafood factory management was asked to discharge the waste water somewhere else to avoid contamination. University authorities have also been asked to take corrective action, but they have not yet acted on it. We will soon send them a notice on this count,” said Regional officer of Pollution Control Board Hadibandhu Panigrahy.
As per information provided by Panigrahy, an average family discharges about 140 litres of waste water to the sewer. At this rate, 17 million litres of waste water is discharged from the city. The waste water discharged by commercial entities add to the problem. This polluted water works like incubators for bacteria and contaminates the underground water.
Odisha Water Supply & Sewerage Board (OWSSB) had planned to build six water treatment plants in Bhubaneswar to avoid any disaster. Approval has already been given to build four of them. However, construction work is yet to begin on any of these plants.
Without these plants, the untreated polluted water mixed with underground water might lead to a Sambalpur like jaundice outbreak in the capital city, health department officials say.