A 10 year old boy died allegedly due to jaundice at Raiyar village in Khan Sahab of Budgam district. According to health officials, 190 children in the age group of five to 15 years were examined and 24 suspected jaundice cases were identified in the affected area.
According to the villagers the unsafe drinking water being supplied to the village is the cause behind the jaundice spread. They said that they had requested the concerned department officials a number of times to supply safe drinking water, but their plea was not heard.
They alleged that water reservoirs and streams are contaminated. After tests at the official level, water from six sources in the village has been declared unfit for the consumption.
The local officials of Jal Shakti Department have denied the allegations regarding supplying unsafe water through taps. The issue should not be made a point of prestige amid allegations and clarifications.
All required corrective measures should be taken so that the residents get safe and clean water and not the contaminated water.
This is important since it pertains to the health of the local residents there. One child has already lost his life and several others are suffering from jaundice. There is immediate need to stop supplying of the contaminated water.
The experts have recommended urgent treatment of two water reservoirs on war footing by Jal Shakti Department and re-analysis of water samples after treatment. Till the process is completed, the safe water can be supplied through tankers also.
The residents must also strictly follow the instructions of health officials before consuming the water. They have been directed to boil water for 20 minutes before consumption. If the directive is not followed the jaundice will spread to other people also.
It is not about Raiyar village only, the Jal Shakti Department must take serious note of the complaints regarding supply of unsafe water in other areas also.
Steps must be taken so that the people get safe drinking water. The process of making the drinking water safe before it is supplied through taps must be re-examined, wherever needed. There is need to take due care of water filtration plants and reservoirs.
There are also reports of some people dumping garbage near the filtration plants and reservoirs. It should not happen as it leads to pollution and contamination of the drinking water.
While the Jal Shakti Department has the duty of supplying safe drinking water, it is also the responsibility of the people not to pollute the sources of water.