Dozens taken ill in Samba village by drinking contaminated water

People being administered glucose by doctors in village Dhanu of Samba district. -Excelsior/Badyal
People being administered glucose by doctors in village Dhanu of Samba district. -Excelsior/Badyal

Health Deptt rushes team of docs, paramedicos

Avtar Bhat

JAMMU, May 21: Thirty six villagers have been taken ill in village Dabmu in block Sumb of Samba district by drinking contaminated water of a local ‘Bavali’ today.
Soon after getting information, the health authorities deputed a team of doctors and para-medical staff to the village and they administered the medicines to the patients who had developed infection and were suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting.
Panic griped the village after the people fell suddenly ill. Some people after feeling nausea were immediately rushed to primary Health Centre Sumb by their family members and doctors administered drip to them.
As the reports of more people falling ill in the village came, the doctors in the hospital informed the BMO, Nud who immediately deputed the team of doctors and para medical staff to the village for treatment of the ill people.
Four people were still under going treatment in PHC Sumb till last reports came in while others were given treatment at their residence by the doctors who monitored their condition till the evening.
BMO Nud, Dr Anju Bala said that situation is under control and all the people have recovered. She said the infection was probably outcome of contaminated water which the people of the village are drinking.
People of the area said that they have lost many lives over the years after drinking the contaminated water of ‘Bavalis’ as the Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department has failed to provide tapped water supply to the village despite repeated pleas by people of the area.
They said that the pipes have been laid in the village but the water has never flown through them though lakhs of rupees were spent on the water supply scheme in the area. They said though the issue was taken many times with PHE authorities by them but no body bothered to solve this vexed issue putting the lives of innocent people to grave risk.
Ram Kumar, a local resident of the area said that it is a pity that after over seven decades of independence the villagers are drinking the contaminated water while the Government is making tall claims of providing safe drinking water to people.
He said the PHE Department never bothered to look into the drinking water problem of the people in this belt. He wanted to know why the water supply scheme has failed in the village on which huge amount was spent.
The villagers sought the immediate intervention of Lt Governor, G C Murmu into the matter so that they get pure drinking water in future and are relieved of such problems once for all. They demanded that till tapped water supply is resumed, the area be provided portable water through tankers to save the precious human lives failing which the people will come to streets against the Department.
The villagers said on the one hand people are under stress due to spread of the dreaded COVID-19 and on the other, water borne diseases have also added to their worries. They said had the Health Department not taken timely action a havoc would have been created in the village as it was very difficult to shift the affected people to hospital due to lack of transport facilities in view of lockdown.
The sick people who are undergoing treatment in PHC Sumb included Pushpa Devi, Kamaljeet, Vandana Devi, Charanjit Singh, Raj Kumari, Daler Singh, Parshottam Singh, Veena Devi and Balwinder Singh . The team of Health Department has also started investigation to ascertain cause of the infection.