Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar/Sambalpur, Jan 6:
The Housing and Urban Development department of the Odisha government on Tuesday directed urban local bodies (ULBs) in all 30 districts of the state and the Public Health Engineering Organisation (PHEO) to test drinking water samples in urban bodies and submit a status report to the department within 15 days.
“After the outbreak of jaundice in Sambalpur, my department has directed urban bodies and PHEO in all districts to take corrective measures for ensuring safe water supply and to repair defects and seal leaks in supply pipelines wherever neede. The government has taken a decision to identify points where water supply pipelines intersect sewerage and drainage lines. Pipelines for water supply will be segregated and new pipelines laid away from drainage and sewerage lines wherever such things have taken place,” said Housing and Urban Development minister Puspendra Singhdeo.
Meanwhile, the killer water borne disease jaundice is showing no signs of abating in Sambalpur. Officials figures say the disease had claimed 20 lives till Monday while the number of afflicted with the disease stood at 2,562.
Test reports of water samples collected from three localities in Sambalpur town and sent to the Institute of Virology at Pune on December 22 have tested negative for jaundice virus. But every day, the number of those afflicted with the disease has kept growing spreading scare among the people. However, this is being attributed to the long incubation period of the virus, which takes around 60 days to incubate.
“The disease takes a long time to incubate. If more cases of infected persons are reported in February, then it will be a matter of concern. If a person is infected in say January first week the disease will surface only in February. So in my opinion if more number of cases are reported by middle of February, then it will be a matter of concern and survey will be needed,” said Balwant Singh, collector Sambalpur.
“We had sent PHED water samples collected from three different localities on December 22 to the Institute of Virology, Pune through RMRC Bhubaneswar. The test reports indicate that there was no jaundice virus in them,” said Dr Ashok Das ADMO Sambalpur.