Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 14:
The claim of the commissionerate police that the trainees afflicted by jaundice at the Traffic Training Institute in the Odisha capital have recovered and joined their duty 15 days ago, has been proved wrong with fresh reports that more than 50 trainees are still suffering from the water-borne disease.
A special investigation by Sambad has revealed that over 50 ailing trainees have been kept at a separate barrack inside the Institute campus.
The commissionerate police have made elaborate security arrangements in the Institute to ensure that the matter does not come to the limelight.
To ascertain the veracity, a Sambad team had gone to the Institute on Friday. On reaching there, the team found a home guard on duty at the main gate of the Institute. When asked about the visit, one of the team members told the guard that he has come to meet his ailing friend who is suffering from cold and fever. However, the guard, all of a sudden told him that he might be suffering from jaundice.
Asked whether some trainees are suffering from jaundice, the guard said he does not know the details, but some of the trainees have been kept separately.
The Sambad team later went towards the barrack when it was stopped by another guard, who asked them about the purpose of their visit. The team led to the guard that they wanted to meet one of their friends from Sambalpur.
Asking the team to wait, the guard went inside the barrack. But the team followed him and found a big and dark hall inside the barrack where beds were laid on the floor. While two trainees were found inside the hall, the others were found sitting outside the hall.
After waiting there for some time, the trainees returned to their barrack in groups. When asked by the Sambad team about the outbreak of jaundice in the campus, one of the trainees said about 50-60 trainees from Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Rourkela, Jharsuguda and Deogarh districts are suffering from jaundice and are regularly visiting the Capital Hospital for treatment.
When asked whether the water supplied to the Institute is contaminated, he said he does not know much about this. He, however, said when jaundice was first reported from the campus a couple of weeks ago, the authorities had sent water samples for test and the report had confirmed the presence of jaundice virus.
The team had to return as some senior officials present there cast suspicious looks at it.