Opposition parties on Monday mounted criticism over the State government's reported failure to control cholera in Rayagada district alleging that the administration was suppressing actual death figures.
According to State Health Control Room here, 39 people died of diarrhoea while 784 affected persons had been given medical attention in Rayagada district since first week of August.
Although there was no significant change in death roll, the number of villages where cholera-hit patients were identified went up to 156. New cases kept coming from Kasipur, Kalyanasinghpur and Bissamcuttack. Health Department sources said 88 new cases surfaced on a single day on Sunday. Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Congress leader Tara Prasad Bahinipati claimed that deaths in undivided Koraput district had gone past 600 mark, but administration was making conscious efforts to show that deaths had occurred due to non-diarrhoea reasons.
He launched a scathing attack on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for not giving proper attention to deteriorating medical infrastructure and drinking water facilities in the four districts of Rayagada, Malkanagiri, Nabrangpur and Koraput. President of State unit of Samajwadi Party, Rabi Behera, said situation in Rayagada district was worsening by every passing day. “While people die in large numbers, the State government remains casual. There is absolutely no coordination among tribal welfare department, panchayati raj, women and child welfare and rural development departments,” alleged Mr. Behera.
The approach to the situation had been confined to review meetings while no Cabinet Minister found time to visit the cholera-hit region, he said, adding that many, however, made to party's rally on Polavaram issue.
Health control room sources said personnel of Orissa Disaster Rapid Action force had been deployed in the affected district to help transport cholera-hit persons to neighbouring healthcare institutions.