Water contamination: Death toll rises to five, 16 in ICU in K’taka district

Chitradurga: The death toll in the water contamination case reported in Kavadigarahatti of Chitradurga district rose to five on Friday, said officials, adding that the number of persons hospitalised has also risen from 36 to 149.

At least 16 persons are being treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and their condition is said to be serious, according to local authorities.

The development has caused public outrage against the callousness of the authorities.

Parvathamma, 60, died on Friday at her residence in Kavadigarahatti. She was being treated at her home for three days. She was sent back from the hospital as she showed signs of recovery. However, Parvathamma, suffering from paralysis, succumbed this morning. Nine family members of Parvathamma, including a 1-year-old baby are being treated in the hospital. The condition of two is serious.

Rudrappa, 50, who was admitted to Basaveshwara hospital in Chitradurga succumbed to severe symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea this morning.

The incident of water contamination was reported on July 31. Manjula (23) and Raghu (27), both residents of Kavadigarahatti in the outskirts of Chitradurga died and 36 others fell ill after consuming contaminated water. Praveen, who had visited his relatives in the village on July 30, died at Vaddarasiddanahalli the next day.

Union Minister for State for Social Justice and Empowerment of India A. Narayanaswamy, who represents Chitradurga Lok Sabha seat, visited the deceased Rudrappa’s residence and consoled the family members.

People staged a protest in Chitradurga alleging negligence by the administration and local Congress MLA K.C. Veerendra Pappi. Following the protest by religious pontiff Shri Shivasharana Haralaiah and Dalit leaders, MLA Pappi paid a visit to Basaveshwara hospital.

The FSL report of the water sample has confirmed that there was no poisonous chemical found. It was alleged that miscreants may have poisoned the water after a POCSO case was filed against a localite. However, the report has confirmed that the tragedy has occurred due to contamination of water.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has ordered a probe into the incident and directed the district authorities to initiate stern action against the officers found guilty. The authorities have sent a report recommending suspension of AEE R. Manjunath Giraddi and JE S.R. Kiran Kumar, attached to Chitradurga Municipality. Prakash, who worked as a volve operator in Kavadigarahatti was also suspended by the district commissioner.

The people here claimed that the authorities were not investigating the angle of the miscreants playing a foul play in the backdrop of casteism. The people say the report findings regarding the case are contradicting. Presently, the water is supplied in water tankers to the locality. However, the authorities have rejected the theory of foul play.  (IANS)


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