With the threat of water-borne diseases looming large over the city, the Health Wing of the Kochi Corporation is planning action against wayside eateries operating in unhygienic conditions from Thursday.

While admitting that there has been no effective system for monitoring the functioning of wayside eateries and ensuring its functioning in hygienic conditions, T.K. Ashraf, chairman of the Health Standing Committee of the Kochi Corporation, said that Health Inspectors would inspect the makeshift eateries during evenings.

A meeting of the officials of the Corporation will be convened shortly in this regard, he said. There were reports that a large number of eateries were operating in poor hygienic conditions.

Some of the eateries of West Kochi are working in unclean locations.

The Corporation had apprised the leaders of the association of wayside vendors and eateries of the need for maintaining the health standards especially in the wake of reports of outbreak of disease in some parts of the district.

It has also been decided to check the shops at least twice a week, Mr. Asharaf said.

Presently, it's a free-for-all when it comes to operating a thattukada in the city.

Only a few shops have obtained licence for operating the eateries, admitted Mr. Asharaf.

The officials of the Corporation have been asked to draw up a list of thattukadas operating in the city.

Zone-wise list of the shops will be drawn up for ensuring health guidelines, Mr. Ashraf said.

Though the civic authorities cannot intervene regarding the quality of toddy supplied through toddy shops, it can intervene regarding the quality of food supplied through them. Quality of food served at toddy shops will also be checked, he said. The Health Officer of the Kochi Corporation has sought a report on a suspected case of jaundice-related death that took place at Edapally zone recently.

It has to be confirmed whether the death was due to hepatitis A, said Dr. Manjusha Varghese, Health Officer of the civic body.

Though Kochi city has been free of incidents of jaundice till now, one cannot discount the possibility of the disease surfacing here.

Preventing the contamination of drinking water is the only way to check the outbreak of the disease.

The practice of opening the outlets of toilets to public places and drains should be strictly curbed and the leaks in the septic tanks should be plugged, Dr. Varghese suggested.

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