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Jaundice deaths ‘Murders by State’ said grieving Shimla Bar Association in protest march (Pictures)

There are four Departments to ensure prevention from waterborne diseases – the IPH, SMC, State Pollution Control Board, and Health Department. None of them did their duty, not even a single official spoke up despite having knowledge about contamination of drinking water being supplied to Shimla.

SHIMLA- On Tuesday, the Bar Association of Shimla held a protest march from DC office to Secretariat against jaundice outbreak and deaths including three lawyers. It’s the first protest (other than political show-offs) that actually meant to rebuke and hold government responsible, asking for justice and action against the IPH Department and Shimal Municipal Corporation. According to lawyers the jaundice deaths were ‘murders by the State’.

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The lawyers also insisted that Shimla Municipal Corporation is directly responsible for jaundice outbreak as public gets water supply from it and because SMC collects water bills. How IPH provide that water is also the responsibility of the SMC, which is true.

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A separate protest at the HP High Court was also registered by the advocates. The lawyers, the legal men, spoke up only they witnessed death of their fellow advocates.

Video: Listen to What the Grieving and Angry Shimla Bar Association Said:

Opposition claimed that number of Hepatitis E cases in Himachal has surpassed 15,000 marks, but the government said there are only a few hundred cases, at most 1,500. One Tuesday, the State Heath Minister Kaul Singh had said that only four jaundice deaths were reported. On Thursday, he admitted that 10 people lost their lives due to jaundice outbreak in Shimla. No doubt, as a loyal member of the party, Kaul Singh find it a matter of proud to defend the government even if ask for lying and manipulating actual statistics on Hepatitis E.

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The Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, on the other hand, denied jaundice outbreak or jaundice deaths saying it was just media propaganda. IPH Minister Vidya Stokes doesn’t even have idea that public has been literally served sewage.

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Opposition is showing concern over the issue, but it’s not admitting that the BJP government had also closed its eyes when it was in power.

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Sanjay Chauhan should have filed the FIR years back, but he didn’t until the water was overhead.

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What happened after jaundice outbreak begun to make headlines in newspapers is that a couple of junior employees, which are mostly expendable for high rank officials, were thrown as piece of meat to media and public on the name of legal action.

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The Bar Association also approached the Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Acharya Devrat, seeking justice. Apparently, not much can be expected from him also as politicians are loyal to their fraternity.

There are four Departments to ensure prevention from waterborne diseases – the IPH, SMC, State Pollution Control Board, and Health Department. None of them did their duty, not even a single official spoke up despite having knowledge about contamination of drinking water being supplied to Shimla.

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The police investigation is in progress, but as usual, it’s less likely that the actual culprits would be exposed and punished. That’s the way governments work in India. Even people are fine with it. Clearly, no public protest was witnessed so far.

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While, the lawyers staged a protest outside the Shimla DC Office, the Deputy Mayor of Shimla appeared with a smile on his face. We wonder how come he still smile, at least, in a protest against SMC.

Unscientific disposal of sewage and solid waste is threatening the pristine environment and water sources of Shimla. Last year’s observations of the Comptroller and Auditor General had highlighted the inadequacies of the Shimla Municipal Corporation. It had stated that just 13 percent of the sewage generated in Shimla is treated and the rest is left in the open despite Rs.74 crore ($12 million) being spent for installing six treatment plants. Planned for a maximum population of 16,000, Shimla is home to 170,000 people as per the 2011 census and generates 30.09 million litres of sewage per day. We assume, it’s enough to describe the capacity of our present and past governments.

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