Over 40 people were taken ill after consuming contaminated water, supplied by Delhi Jal Board, on the NCERT campus near Hauz Khas on Tuesday.
While some of those affected are under treatment at various city hospitals including Safdarjung, Rockland and Saket City Hospital in South Delhi, two persons including a four-year-old child allegedly died in the area following complication arising out of drinking unclean water this past Sunday.
However, the Delhi Police said they have not received any complaints in this case so far and there have been no calls to the Police Control Room in the matter either. “We have also not been informed of any deaths due to consumption of polluted water by any of the hospitals. We have also not been intimated about the reported deaths that took place at NCERT Colony,” said a senior South District police officer, adding that they have learnt that the South Delhi Municipal Corporation have picked up water samples for testing.
Bharatiya Janata Party Delhi unit president Vijay Goel who visited the campus on Tuesday, however, had a different take in the matter: “We have got reports of two deaths on June 23 because of consuming contaminated water. After the two deaths in the campus the NCERT Director had reportedly complained to the civic body and the Delhi Jal Board on June 24 about the bad quality of water being supplied in the area and in response to the letter of complaint the MCD Health Department officials went there and found that the water was polluted.”
Though senior Delhi Government officials did not confirm that the deaths were due to consumption of contaminated water, Mr. Goel said: “We have confirmed reports of two persons having lost their life after consuming contaminated water in the area.”
He added that as many as four persons in each house have fallen ill seriously because of drinking highly polluted water. “The residents here told me that they have been getting polluted water continuously for the last one-and-a-half month due to which they have been falling ill,” he added.
Safdarjung Hospital medical superintendent Dr. B. D. Athani said: “We have got several patients currently under treatment for various seasonal diseases and it is difficult to isolate a few who have been admitted from NCERT Colony.”
Delhi Social Welfare Minister Kiran Walia, who also visited the campus, said: “More than 40 people were affected due to consumption of contaminated water on Tuesday and I have directed the NCERT Director to bear the medical expenditure of the affected persons who are undergoing treatment at private hospitals.”
“Also, we have directed that mineral water be supplied to all the households of NCERT Colony till the situation becomes normal. Two ambulances will be stationed at the colony to ensure that all those adversely affected by the consumption of contaminated water get immediate medical care,” she added.
Meanwhile, a release issued by the Delhi Jal Board on Tuesday noted: “It is clarified that DJB provides bulk water supply to the NCERT complex, while the internal distribution is taken care of by the maintenance agency. Local contamination in the internal distribution system is required to be addressed by the maintenance agency. Bulk water supplied by DJB has been tested and has been found to meet the BIS standards. DJB is extending all possible support to the maintenance agency to rectify the situation.”