Article courtesy of Arvind Walmiki | February 13, 2015 | DNA India | Shared as educational material
A 1-year-old boy died, while over 350 people underwent treatment after drinking contaminated water in Bhiwandi over the past week. Hospitals were flooded with patients complaining of gastro, diarrhoea and stomach pain. While 131 were hospitalised, the remaining were treated in medical camps. Most were discharged, but 27 people are still undergoing treatment.
‘Had civic body acted on time, my baby would have been alive’
Suresh Rajya Thouti, 29, a Padmanagar resident, lost his 1-year-old son. “We knew that the water was polluted, but we had no other option other than boiling it before drinking. Doctors told me that our child had got an infection in the stomach and that he is serious. On Feb 6, we admitted him in Jupiter Hospital. He died a day later. I did not know what to do. If the water pipeline had been changed, my son would have been alive. I totally blame the municipal corporation, We have even told our local corp-orator who told us that work is in progress but we did not see it,” he said, adding that he plans to write to the Bhiwandi Nizampura Municipal Corporation.
Meanwhile, relatives of patients are struggling to get them admitted in hospitals due to a lack of space.
What caused the contamination?
Officials suspect that the water supply got contaminated by sewage water because of a sewage pipe that runs parallel to it. Moreover, there is a public toilet right above the drinking water supply pipe. However, they will know for sure only once the reports are out. Dr Ashok Kamble, resident medical officer, Thane, said, “We have taken samples of the water to check the extent of contamination. Some reports have been send to the lab of which reports are awaited.
We will advise residents and other patients who are suffering from the problem to boil water for more than ten minutes. As of now the number of patients has gone down. We kept a special medical camp in that area so that patients have to travel less. We are also doing a house to house survey”.
What remedial measures have been taken?
Jeevan Sonawane, Bhiwandi Municipal Corporation commissioner said, “The pipelines are old and rusted. We have stopped the water supply in the area and are providing residents with tanker water. We will changed the water pipelines which will take two more days. Another problem is that the pipelines from the road have open toilets above them so we have sent a notice to close that down.”
Which areas are worst affected?
Worst affected areas are Padma Nagar, Samad Nagar, Vara Devi, Kamatghar, Dhamankar Naka and Kanheri in Bhiwandi. Twenty-seven patients have been admitted to the Indira Gandhi Memorial hospital (IGM) and eight patients have been referred to Thane civil hospital.