Blame game begins over water contamination

BANGALORE: The incident of a one-and-half-year-old Chandan’s death, just four days ago, due to suspected water contamination at Chalavadipalaya area haunts the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Pali

Published: 01st April 2012 11:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 07:15 PM   |  A+A-

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BANGALORE: The incident of a one-and-half-year-old Chandan’s death, just four days ago, due to suspected water contamination at Chalavadipalaya area haunts the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) at a time when the Palike is under attack from different quarters for failing to provide water. Over the last few days, Corporator Seema Seema Kanum’s husband Althaf Khan ensured water supply through tankers to the affected

areas.

The suspected water contamination has been narrowed down to two borewells in the ward. Meanwhile, BBMP Health Officer Devaki Umesh has issued a list of dos to the residents to protect themselves from diseases. She said, “We have deputed health officials to look into the issue. Water samples have been collected for tests and we have already communicated to the BWSSB officials to increase residual  chlorine content in supply of water. Also, we have issued guidelines to the public to drink water only after boiling it.”

The Palike has also instructed all its hospitals to stock Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS)  packs, IV Fluids and other medicines.

In denial:

However, BBMP Deputy Mayor Harish on Sunday said that this case was “not a case of contamination”. He said: “I do not understand why BBMP is being blamed for supply of contaminated water. Clean water supply is the responsibility Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and not BBMP.”

On the other hand, BWSSB Engineer-in-Chief Venkatraju defended the water board before the media and said, “attributing the death to water contamination is rubbish. In case of contamination, there would have been an  epidemic and not one case in isolation. However, to eliminate all doubts, we have collected the water for sampling and are awaiting the test results.”

However, J J Nagar Corporator’s husband rubbishes such claims made by officials. He said that he was aware of incidents of people falling sick and getting treated from a local hospital. “Post this incident, we have summoned the BBMP health officials and demanded an explanation and compensation. There was a leak in the drainage pipe contaminating the drinking water. Hence, we have asked the people to stop using tap water in the affected area,” said Altaf Khan.

Even as the officials as playing the blame game, City Express spoke to the deceased child’s parents, who complain that the officials have not bothered to even visit the area and enquire about the issue.

“My son drank water from the tap and fell sick. We admitted him to St Mary’s Hospital near Royan Circle on Tuesday last week, but after two days he was declared dead. All our hopes have gone with him,” said Narasimaiah, the boy’s father.

The residents of Chalavadipalaya had thronged the J J Nagar police station and protested against the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) officials by keeping the body of the child in front of the police station in a desperate bid to draw the attention of officials from civic agencies. Finally, corporator’s husband Althaf Khan pacified the crowd and assured them of his help.

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