Private tankers were reportedly arranged to fill the GH sump with four-lakh litres of water on Wednesday.

A small political slugfest is brewing over the reports of short supply of drinking water at the General Hospital.

As authorities deny any such shortage, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is preparing to take on Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar on reports of water shortage at the hospital.

CPI (M) district secretary Kadakampally Surendran, in a statement issued on Saturday, came down heavily on the authorities, alleging that patients and attendants at the General Hospital were being put through difficulties due to an acute shortage of drinking water in the hospital for the last five days.

According to Mr. Surendran, the hospital was attending to an increased number of patients over the last few weeks due to viral fever outbreaks and other contagious diseases. The shortage of water had added to the woes of the people, he said.

This was due to ‘gross negligence’ on part of Mr. Sivakumar, Mr. Surendran alleged, stating that the CPI (M) would take out a mass protest march to the Minister’s residence if the issue was not sorted out immediately.

But Kerala Water Authority (KWA) officials denied any such shortage in the hospital. According to KWA officials, the only disruption in water supply in the city was the one notified on Wednesday about a disruption from Friday morning to Saturday morning due to works to plug a leak on the 1200-mm mainline carrying water from Aruvikkara to the Observatory Hills tank. The repairs were completed on Friday evening itself and supply was restored soon after.

There were no complaints registered with the KWA from the hospital officials either, a senior KWA official said, adding that after an additional water connection was given to the GH three months ago, there were no complaints of water shortage at all from there.

But private tankers were reportedly arranged to fill the GH sump with four lakh litres of water on Wednesday. Twenty six tanker trips were made to the hospital, sources said.