Several people have fallen ill with diarrhoea in atleast three wards under the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) allegedly due to consumption of contaminated drinking water. The civic body has sent sample of the water for examination while the affected have been admitted to the hospital.

In three wards under KMC-101, 102 and 103- several people have fallen ill and have been diagnosed with diarrhoea. Most of the residents suspect that the disease has been caused by the contaminated drinking water. The total number of people affected is estimated to be around 250-300.

The CPI-M councillor of ward 102, Rinku Naskar said, “Several residents had been complaining for the past two days that the drinking water that they have been receiving is of poor quality. Many of the residents alleged the water is not clear and is instead muddy. The drinking water supply in our ward and the adjacent wards come from Jai Hind water treatment plant. Perhaps, the water is getting contaminated somewhere or is not getting purified before reaching here.”

“A total number of at least 150 people have fallen ill in my ward which is frightening. Most of them are admitted in a hospital in Baghajatin. We have been supplying medicine and extending primary aid to the residents in our health centre since morning. The civic body doctors are distributing tablets that need to be dropped into the water before consumption in order to purify it.”

“We are also carrying out awareness campaign and asking people not to panic. In today’s time though most people have water purifiers at their homes, this area being a colony land, many consume water directly that comes from the treatment plant. We are keeping our ward’s primary health care centre open tomorrow which otherwise remains closed on Sundays.”

However, after speaking to residents it has been known that the number of affected people is more than 300. A resident said, “My brother has been affected with diarrhoea after drinking the contaminated water. He began feeling weak and started vomiting since last night. We provided him salt and water but his condition deteriorated further and we had to admit him to the hospital.”

Another person, Sadhan Dey, said, “For the last three days the water had a pungent taste. My son fell ill yesterday with symptoms of vomiting and loose motion. We thought it would get better but the symptoms became increasingly worrying. How could the civic body be so careless?” Other residents alleged they have complained to the civic body several times about the poor quality of drinking water they receive but in vain.

Mayor Sovan Chatterjee has visited these wards on Saturday. Speaking on the issue , he said “ The KM is taking all necessary measures that includes distribution of ORS in all the affected wards. We are asking people not to panic while samples of the water have been sent for examination. Nothing definite can be said now on whether the water was the cause. We are conducting checks in all the reservoirs and pipelines as for now.”