Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 13:
Resentment is brewing among villagers of Koradakanta, Pandra and Kesura villages alongside river Kuakhai owing to the alleged discharge of waste into the river by Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital on the outskirts of Odisha’s capital city.
Since they depend on the river for bathing and drinking purposes, residents of these villages have been afflicted with skin and gastrointestinal diseases because of the pollution caused by effluents discharged into its water.
Besides humans, domesticated animals are also bearing the brunt of the polluted water.
“I developed skin diseases all over the body. I have spent a lot of money on treatment. The authorities should initiate stern action against the erring hospital,” a resident of Koradakanta said.
Waking up to the complaints of the residents, Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) had served a show-cause notice on the hospital for alleged violation of norms.
Though the hospital responded to the notice, the contents of the letter were unknown.
“The two waste treatment plants in the hospital are non-operational when we conducted an the on-the-spot verification of the healthcare unit,” Regional Officer of OSPCB, Hadibandhu Panigrahi said.
On the other hand, the superintendent of Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital, Ranjit Kumar Mishra said: “There are two waste water treatment plants in the hospital premises which are separated by strong concrete walls. They would be operationalised soon. The waste water was escaping out of the sewerage pool due to a breach in it. The breach has now been plugged.”
As per reports, the said hospital and its educational institutes along the river have been discharging 4 lakh cusecs of waste water, including biomedical waste into the river.