BENGALURU: Sternly warning officials on Monday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said special teams will be formed under the supervision of Chief Secretary Vandita Sharma to investigate deaths due to water contamination. Siddaramaiah warned that if such incidents recur, officials will be suspended.
He held a review meeting with Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Minister Priyank Kharge and Revenue Minister Krishna Byre Gowda. Deputy commissioners and chief executive officers of various districts also attended the meeting through video-conference.
The special team, among many cases, will probe the recent deaths of three people in Koppal after consuming contaminated water. If such incidents happen again, Siddaramaiah warned, zilla panchayat CEOs will be suspended.
“Don’t play with people’s lives,” he said and pulled them up for failing to take precautionary measures when such incidents were reported initially. “What were you doing? Did you visit the spot? You (officials) should visit those spots and take measures, otherwise you will be held responsible,” he warned.
Siddaramiah confirmed that at present, a local team is probing the incidents. “We will send an expert team from Bengaluru for a complete probe. We will examine both the reports – from the local team and experts – and action will be taken based on the reports,” he said.
Kharge told TNIE that the local team headed by the DC is expected to complete the investigation within a week. They are awaiting a lab report. “A team from Bengaluru, consisting of experts and RDPR officials, will also investigate. The report might come after 10 days,” he said.
Over the last few days, at least six deaths have been reported in Koppal, Belagavi and other places due to consumption of contaminated water, and hundreds have been hospitalised.