Set it right or shut it down within 24 hours. That’s what district health authorities told filthy labour dormitories run by a construction company in Cheranallore on Monday.

The Health authority’s order comes after septic tank was found overflowing on the camp ground. The company was given a notice last month to set right the septic waste leakage, but they did not fix it, said District Health Officer (Rural), P. N. Sreenivasan, who raided the labour camp on the orders of the District Collector.

Around 600 migrant labourers are crammed in cubbyhole-like two dormitories of 500 sq ft each. It had just 20 toilets for the entire crowd. The labour camp was thrown together on a rented land for which Cheranellore panchayat, the sanctioning authority, had also given a number. In the camp with electricity and water connections, only the toilets were of concrete build.

While the kitchen area in the labour camp had the nod of Health officials, the waste water drainage was broken, said Mr. Sreenivasan. The company had also engaged a bus to ferry the construction workers to the site near the High Court. The Health officials also supervised the spread of ten loads of gravel brought in by the construction company to cover up the septic tank leakage. There had been a problem of septic tank leakage earlier too, said Mr. Sreenivasan. Though it was the septic waste that brought in the officials, a putrid drainage between the two labour camps breeding mosquitoes ensured a lock on the camp. The officials said the route of the drainage had been blocked with construction materials. While the construction company officials told the Health officials that a pipe was drawing away the drainage water, workers engaged to find the flow of the drain were unable to do so, said Mr. Sreenivasan. He had also ordered the drain covered with slabs. The construction company’s representative has been asked to appear before the District Collector on Tuesday.

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