Over 800 jaundice cases reported in Shimla

Shimla, Jan 20 (IANS) More than 800 cases of jaundice have been reported so far in Shimla, prompting Himachal Pradesh Health Minister Kaul Singh to review on Wednesday the steps taken to tackle the disease.

An official statement quoting the minister said effective steps have been taken by the departments concerned and the Shimla Municipal Corporation to check further spread of the disease.

It said 817 cases of jaundice were reported in the town and one man lost his life due to the water-borne disease.

Kaul Singh said priority has been given by the government to supply clean and safe drinking water to people. All major water storage tanks have been cleaned and water is being chlorinated on a regular basis.

Municipal corporation commissioner Pankaj Rai said action has been initiated against 107 households for not discharging sewage properly.

The civic authorities suspect that mixing of sewage with potable water has caused the spread of the water-borne disease.

Deputy Mayor Tikender Panwar told IANS that effluents from the sewerage treatment plant in Malyana, located in the vicinity of the Ashwani Khud drinking water scheme, was mainly responsible for water contamination.

The government has banned the procurement of water from the Ashwani Khud.

In 2007, 2010 and 2013, a large number people in the town tested positive for Hepatitis E, a liver problem caused by consumption of water contaminated by sewerage.

Planned for a maximum population of 16,000, Shimla is home to 170,000 people as per the 2011 census and generates 30.09 million litres per day of sewage.

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