The vigil to check distribution of contaminated water by tanker lorries is being stepped up but anxieties in public about quality of drinking water reaching them have not subsided, particularly in interior parts of the district.

Quality testing of water being distributed by lorries had been intensified in and around Thamarassery following outbreak of jaundice in the panchayat, reports reaching here said.

22 jaundice cases

As many as 22 cases of jaundice were reported since February at KSRTC depot in Thamarassery alone.

Since the affected employees hailed from different parts of district, there were fears about quality of the quality of drinking water distributed in their places of residence.

About 12 patients were from Unnikulam panchayat alone.

One case was from Thamarassery panchayat.

Health department authorities, after a series of inspections, have ordered closure of a number of fast food joints. One tanker lorry was also confiscated on Thursday after it was found that necessary documents, as demanded under provisions of Public Health Act, were not with the driver of the vehicle.

10 samples

A Health Department official said 10 samples taken from vehicles transporting water to deficient areas had been taken and sent to Regional Analytical Laboratory in Kozhikode for quality tests.

Recent tests conducted by mobile lab of Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) in Mavoor and Kodiyathoor panchayats revealed high level of bacterial contamination that could cause water-borne diseases like jaundice, cholera and dysentery.

Dr. Hari Kumar, a senior scientist at CWRDM, said the test-results had been given to panchayat authorities and precautionary measures to be taken by the public to purify the water and make it safe for drinking had been explained.

The samples used for quality tests were taken from public water sources like wells by Health department officials.

Despite such attempts to monitor quality, many places remain vulnerable to water-borne diseases.

Cases of jaundice continue to be reported from many places, including Mukkom, Chendamagaloor, Karassery, and Omassery, and this is believed to be due to supply of untreated water drawn from rivers and other water sources that have been contaminated with waste matter.

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