Jaundice outbreak: Odisha HC seeks ATR from govt

Odisha Sun Times Bureau:
Cuttack, Dec 25:

The Odisha High Court on Wednesday asked the state government to submit an action taken report (ATR) on the measures initiated to contain the jaundice outbreak which has assumed alarming proportions.

jaundice patientsActing on a PIL, a division bench comprising of Chief Justice Amitava Roy and Justice AK Rath asked the government’s counsel to apprise the court as to what steps have been taken by the government to tackle the jaundice menace in Sambalpur.

The bench adjourned the hearing for a week in view of the winter vacation.

In his petition, a Sambalpur-based resident Shyamakanta Bishi had alleged that the government officials have not taken adequate steps to contain the contamination resulting in epidemic-like situation.

Alleging medical negligence and inadequate medical facility that caused the jaundice deaths, the petitioner urged the court to provide compensation to the deceased, adequate treatment to the affected and direct the state government to take adequate steps to control the disease.

Poor drainage system and damaged water supply pipelines appeared to be the main reason behind the jaundice outbreak and spread of the disease in the town, having a population of nearly two lakh.

Due to leakage in the rusty water supply pipelines, the drain water seeped through and contaminated water meant for drinking, the petitioner said.

While at least 19 people have succumbed to the disease, over 1500 people have been affected due to intake of contaminated water, the petitioner added.

State Health secretary, district collector, CDMO, Commissioner of Sambalpur Municipality, Health Officer, regional officer of Odisha State Pollution Control Board and Sambalpur PHD Executive Engineer have been made respondents in the case.

The counsels for the petitioner are Bijay Kumar Ragada, Nilakantha Das and Gangadhar Samal.

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