Contaminated water in Tumakuru village leaves toddler, five people dead; several hospitalised

The supply of drinking water from the overhead tank, contaminated due to a lack of maintenance over the years, has been identified as the problem.
Karnataka Home Minister Dr G Parameshwara visiting the victims at the district general hospital in Tumakuru on Thursday.
Karnataka Home Minister Dr G Parameshwara visiting the victims at the district general hospital in Tumakuru on Thursday.Photo | Express

TUMAKURU: Six people, including a toddler, have died and several residents have been hospitalised after consuming contaminated water over the past four days in Chinnenahalli village, Madhugiri taluk.

Two elderly people, Chikkadasappa (76) and Peddanna (74), died last night at the district general hospital here, while 10 others, including three elderly patients in the ICUs and three children, are currently being treated.

Home Minister Dr G Parameshwara visited the hospital on Thursday to assess the situation. He was accompanied by Deputy Commissioner Subha Kalyan and district surgeon Dr Asgar Baig. The minister instructed the deputy commissioner to ensure the supply of potable water to the residents of villages within the Chinnenahalli Gram Panchayat jurisdiction.

The local MLA and Cooperation Minister, KN Rajanna, also visited the hospital. He alleged that officials failed to take action, despite repeated warnings to clean the overhead tanks, which had not been maintained for several years across the taluk. Rajanna added that the incident is a result of official negligence.

The supply of drinking water from the overhead tank, contaminated due to a lack of maintenance over the years, has been identified as the problem. Panchayat Development Officer (PDO) BV Muniraju and waterman S Nagaraju have been suspended from their services on charges of dereliction of duty.

Taluk health officer Dr Sreenivas informed that the samples that were being sent to the laboratory for the tests confirmed the contamination. The residents were being warned not to use the water from the overhead tank, he added.

The trouble began during the weeklong annual fair of deities Lakshmidevi and Kempannadevi, which started on June 9. And on June 10, over fifty people, including some small children, started complaining of diarrhoea, and elderly woman Hanumakka (85) died.

On June 11, two more elders—Nagamma (89) and Nagappa (85)—also passed away, while three-year-old Meenakshi, daughter of Manjunath and Jayalakshmi, died at a private hospital in Madhugiri town.

The victims had been rushed to hospitals at the taluk headquarters in Madhugiri and then referred to the district government hospital. Resident Medical Officer Dr Chethan informed TNIE that the elderly individuals died of multiple-organ failure due to comorbidities.

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