Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Feb 14:
With evil eyes of killer jaundice now cast on Cuttack city, the Opposition Congress today squarely blamed the Odisha government for failing to contain the outbreak in the city.
The Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan accompanied by several other party leaders visited the affected areas to take stock of the situation as number of jaundice affected persons reached 120 with detection of fresh four cases today.
“The state government has failed to provide clean drinking water facilities to residents of Cuttack. The jaundice epidemic could have been prevented had the state and local administration taken steps much earlier,” Harichandan alleged.
Congress General Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, Cuttack city party chief Md Moquim and several other party leaders accompanied the PCC chief during his visit to the affected areas.
On the other hand, Cuttack-Choudwar MLA Pravat Ranjan Biswal said, the illegal PHD water connections have been snapped and old pipelines are being replaced to contain the water-borne disease, after visiting the affected localities in the city.
Leakage in the pipelines is causing the disease as most of the supply lines are passing through drains, he added.
Expressing concern over the jaundice spreading to many parts of the state, former minister and senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik said, jaundice has taken alarming proportions in Cuttack and Sambalpur due to the inefficiency of the state government.
“The state government should have learnt lessons from the Sambalpur jaundice outbreak; adopted preventive measure and created awareness. However, it has not done so. The urban development department, in coordination with the health department, has not taken steps to counter the menace,” he alleged in a statement.
The media reports of jaundice cases detected at SCB Medical College and Hospital was ignored by the state government when it could have taken steps to contain the outbreak. Waking from the slumber after the outbreak assumed alarming proportions, the state health department officials visited the affected areas in the city to take stock of the situation. The state government should tender apology to the residents of Cuttack for its irresponsible attitude, Patnaik demanded.
The chief minister, who had frequented Cuttack city prior to the civic body elections, has not taken pain to visit the affected areas as of now. The health and sanitation facilities in the state are now in a shambles, the veteran leader alleged.