Several of them said they had been falling ill often
A two-year-old boy died late on Wednesday night allegedly after consuming contaminated water in Venkataswamy Gardens near Jagjivan Ram Nagar here.
Chandan began vomiting violently on Tuesday night, followed by severe diarrhoea, said the family. When he got worse, he was admitted to a nearby private hospital on Wednesday afternoon. However, even after the administration of glucose and saline water, Chandan breathed his last around 11.30 p.m.
“He was our only son. After a long wait, God gave us a son, and now He has taken our son away,” cried Yashodha, Chandan's mother. Chandan was the youngest of five siblings. His father Narasimhan is a daily wage worker of Cottonpet and Binnypet areas.
Even though Chandan's is the only death recorded in the area, residents of the area said the water was so murky that people routinely fell ill.
“Last week, after consuming water here, I was hospitalised with severe vomiting and diarrhoea,” said 55-year-old Yentamma, who lives a couple of streets from Chandan's house. Even after being treated and regaining her health, she said there was little option for residents but to continue drinking the water. “Apart from going far to beg for water from other houses, we have no other drinking water source. We can only hope to boil the dirty water and drink it,” she said.
Similarly, Renuka, who said her father-in-law fell ill a few weeks ago, complained that there was a strange smell to the water.
Gathered around the bereaved family, residents claimed that for the past few years the water supplied had sewage and sediments in it and it was “undrinkable”. “Every house had someone falling sick after consuming the water,” said Ashtalakhsmi, a resident.
K.S. Radhakrishna, councillor of Rayapuram ward under which the area falls, blamed the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) for the death, saying that repeated requests to replacement of pipes in the area had fallen on deaf ears. “Around two years ago, we gave a Rs. 2-crore proposal to change all the pipes in the area. Not even one pipe has been replaced,” he said. The family received Rs. 50,000 as compensation from Zameer Ahmed, the local MLA.
Shocked and in mourning, Yashodha, Narasimhan and a few relatives staged a protest in front of the Jagjivan Ram Nagar police station on Thursday.