Odisha Sun Times Bureau:
Cuttack, Jan 13:
The Odisha High Court on Monday directed the state government to file action taken and status report on jaundice outbreak in Sambalpur.
Hearing a PIL on this matter, a division bench headed by Chief Justice Amitava Roy and Justice A K Rath issued notice to the state government asking to file its reply in the form of a counter affidavit before January 21, the next date of hearing in this matter.
‘‘The state government has taken measure to contain the spread of jaundice. While special teams have been formed to monitor the situation, Chief Minster Naveen Patnaik had also reviewed the situation in the affected area. Steps are being taken to supply pure drinking water and replace the old water pipelines,’’ the government counsel told the court.
A Sambalpur-based denizen, Shyamakanta Bisi, had approached the High Court seeking a direction to the state government to take adequate measures to contain the epidemic taking alarming proportions.
The petitioner alleged that at least 19 persons have died due to jaundice in recent months, while over 15, 000 people have been affected by viral hepatitis owing to state government’s failure to take adequate measures to restrict its occurrence.
Alleging medical negligence and inadequate medical facility that caused the jaundice deaths, the petitioner urged the court to provide compensation to the deceased, adequate treatment to the affected and direct the state government to take adequate steps to control the disease.
Poor drainage system and damaged water supply pipelines are the main reason behind the jaundice outbreak and spread of the disease in the town, having a population of nearly two lakh, the petitioner said.
Due to leakage in the rusty water supply pipelines, the drain water seeped through and contaminated water meant for drinking, the petitioner added.