SANJOY KUMAR HAZARIKA
DERGAON, March 22 - At a time when the entire globe is observing World Water Day today, but the residents of Golaghat have been suffering from severe water-borne diseases in recent times.
A large number of patients basically from Golaghat town areas are being admitted to Kushal Konwar Civil Hospital (KKCH) and other private nursing homes after suffering from typhoid, fever, jaundice etc.
The patients are mostly from the student community and hail from Golaghat municipal area as well as remote areas. However, even elderly citizens have become victims of these diseases. Though the situation is under control, as of now, but the patients are still undergoing treatment.
In the meantime, Golaghat Deputy Commissioner Dhiren Hazarika directed the Health Department and Public Health and Engineering (PHE) Department to take immediate steps to control the situation. Talking to The Assam Tribune, the superintendent of KKCH Dr Uttam Prasad Dutta said that the situation is under control now. He also said that the patients coming to the hospital are mainly suffering from fever, typhoid and jaundice. The superintendent said that the probable cause of the diseases might be contamination of drinking water.
On being contacted the in-charge of Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) Dr Anil Das said that diseases were due to the contamination of drinking water collected from Dhansiri river and stored at Jamuna tank at the heart of Golaghat town by Golaghat Municipality Board. The in-charge, who is also an Epidemiologist, said that due to the absence of chlorine treatment of Jamuna tank water, the contamination has taken place. He also revealed that as many as 30 patients were found typhoid-positive during tests.
The Executive Engineer (EE), PHE Golaghat Upen Singh said that the water samples collected from three sources at urban and three from remote areas were examined and no concrete result was found so far. However, the EE ruled out contamination of urban water while he indicated contamination of water of rural areas. He also said that chlorine tablets were distributed among the residents and awareness programmes were carried out.
On the other hand, the residents of Golaghat town alleged that large-scale pollution of the Jamuna water tank by setting up of hotels, parking place, public toilet, etc. nearby, has seriously contaminated the natural water tank which is used as a reservoir by the Golaghat Municipal Board.