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Shimla at high risk of jaundice outbreak due to poor quality drinking water supply: Report

During the visit the team made astonishing and highly critical findings. The team found clear cut mixing of untreated water from the sewerage treatment plants in Ashwini Khud Water Supply Scheme and there is no treatment of water for Virus causing Hepatitis.

SHIMLA- Shimla Municipal Corporation has admitted that poor quality of untreated drinking water supply is the main cause of increasing number jaundice cases that have been reported at IGMC and other hospital of Shimla during last few months. It also informed that about 30% of Shimla population is at higher risk as it receives drinking water supply from Ashwani Khud, which is in very poor condition.

The revelation came after a committee comprising of the six ward members was constituted to look into the matter related to recent jaundice epidemic in Shimla. The team paid visits to the Sewerage Treatment Plant at Malyana and Ashwani Khud Pumping Station.

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The committee visited the Sewerage Treatment Plant at Malyana on December 31, 2015. Following observations were reported by the committee:

1.)The Sewerage Treatment Plant at Malyana is underutilized and not functioning properly.

2) There is no approach road to the said plant causing difficulties in lifting of sludge and it’s lying there only.3.)

3)As there is no power backup, plant becomes non functional during electric failure, causing raw affluent being discharged.

4) Bleaching powder used was manufactured in Sept. 2014. Moreover these bleaching powders were stacked in torn bags causing evaporation.

5) It appears that chlorination of affluent was not proper.

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In view of the above observations, the concerned Executive Engineer, IPH Deptt., who was also present during the visit, was asked to take notice of the above observations immediately.

The team headed by Mayor of Shimla, Sanjay Chauhan, visited the Ashwani Khud Pumping Station on January 2, 2016.

During the visit the team made astonishing and highly critical findings. The team found clear cut mixing of untreated water from the sewerage treatment plants in Ashwini Khud Water Supply Scheme.

save-shimla-from-mc-shimla

There is no treatment of water for Virus causing Hepatitis either at the sewerage treatment plant or at the source and pumping stations at Ashwini Khud.

Another shocking finding reveled that water is not tested at any level for Virus causing Hepatitis because there is no laboratory in the state which can perform this test.

The team concluded that quality of Ashwani Khud Water is not good, which is causing repeated epidemic in Shimla city. In the light of above mentioned facts, the Irrigation and Public Health Department is asked to act immediately to improve the quality of discharge from Sewerage Treatment Plants to Ashwani Khud. The IPH department was also asked not to lift water from the Ashwani Khud Pumping Station until it receives clearance from National Institute of Virology, Pune regarding contamination of drinking water from Hepatitis Virus.

The findings of the committee clearly confirm severity and seriousness of the issue because almost 30 percent population receives its water supply from Ashwini Khud Water Supply Scheme and that poses risk of aggravation in present situation.

SMC has also taken up the matter with the Government and the Chief Minster was asked to intervene immediately and direct Irrigation and Public Health Department to take remedial steps to tackle the problem before it takes shape of an epidemic.

Members of the committee constituted by SMC to investigate cause of repeated jaundice outbreak in Shimla includes following ward members

  1. Ms Kusum Thakur, Councillor, Ward No. 21   – Member
  2. Mr. Surinder Chauhan, Councillor, Ward No.22- Member
  3. Mr. Deepak Rohal, Councillor, Ward No. 23     – Member
  4. Er. Vijay Gupta, Municipal Engineer, MC, Shimla- Member
  5. Dr. Sonam G Negi, CHO, MC, Shimla.               -Member
  6. Mr. Vinod Thakur, Executive Engineer,IPH Deptt.-Member

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