BHUBANESWAR: With water crisis gripping large parts of Odisha, the State BJP on Tuesday claimed that two tribal children of Keonjhar district lost their lives after consuming contaminated water from a village pond.
Identifying the two deceased children as Niki Mahakud (4), daughter of Tanu Mahakud and Sanjay Munda (2), son of Biranhi Munda of Hatichapal village in Harichanadpur block of Keonjhar district, the BJP said another 10 persons of the village are undergoing treatment in local health centres.
A 12-member team of State BJP led by Kuchinda MLA Rabi Nayak visited the village on Monday and found that people have no other source of drinking water except the village pond which has almost gone dry. The muddy water is used by villagers for bathing and cooking.
The village, which falls under the Assembly constituency of Rural Development Minister Badri Narayan Patra, has no tube well, BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra said.
Even as the Government has directed the district administration to supply water through tankers, people of the tribal-dominated village said block officials do not pay any heed to their problem.
State BJP vice-president and former MLA Bishnu Sethy urged the State Government to pay compensation of `two lakh each to families of the two deceased children and instruct the district administration to immediately supply safe drinking water to people.
A member of the fact-finding team, Mohapatra said most of the children of the village are suffering from malnutrition as the Aganwadi centre is non-functional.