Rajaiahpeta, a prosperous fishermen village in Nakkapalli mandal, about 100 km from here, is now in the grip of viral fevers. There is not a single household, which is not affected by viral fevers with symptoms of high temperature, body and headache, skin rash, sore throat and weakness.

The village, with a population of about 2,000, is now in an agitation mode over land acquisition notices served on them for construction of a captive jetty by Anrak Aluminium Limited. “We are already hit by pollution caused by bulk drug units operating in the Pharma SEZ near our village. Now the threat of land acquisition by APIIC is giving us sleepless nights,” says P. Satya Rao, a former sarpanch.

Sarpanch G. Kasulamma is one among many who is seriously down with viral fevers. Gudisarla Primary Health Centre has conducted a special camp to attend to viral fever patients but still the fever situation is threatening to assume epidemic proportions.

Malipalli Nookalamma, who has high fever, says due to pollution caused by pharma units in the neighbourhood, the groundwater is totally contaminated. Fishermen have alleged that fishing has also become difficult as they are getting dead fish of late.

Water supply

Sources say the piped water supply being done from Kotauvartla has become non-functional for the past few months due to heavy rain forcing the fishermen to draw water with handpumps.

An official says sanitary conditions in the village are also bad as most of the fishermen live in the company of pigs, cattle and dogs. The unhealthy living conditions could also be a cause for spread of viral fevers, she points out.

“The villagers are facing several health problems such as stunted growth, eye irritation, skin allergies and recurring headache and fever due to poisonous gases and effluents discharged by pharma units,” alleges former TDP MLA Chengala Venkata Rao.

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