SIT to probe jaundice outbreak in Solan

SOLAN: With a Special Investigating Team (SIT), headed by an SP, having been assigned the task to probe the cases of jaundice outbreak in Solan, the working of the Irrigation and Public Health (IPH) Department, the State Pollution Control Board and the Municipal Committee has come under the scanner.

editorial@tribune.com

Ambika Sharma

Tribune News Service

Solan, March 5

With a Special Investigating Team (SIT), headed by an SP, having been assigned the task to probe the cases of jaundice outbreak in Solan, the working of the Irrigation and Public Health (IPH) Department, the State Pollution Control Board and the Municipal Committee has come under the scanner.

As many as 662 cases of jaundice have come to the fore in Solan since January with 12 cases being reported today.

Sources said SIT officials would soon visit the affected area to take stock of the situation.

Though the IPH Department has suspended the lifting of water from the Ashwani Khud since January 23, there was no let-up in the cases, pointing towards more loopholes in the system.

A large number of cases have been detected from Shamti in Solan where the working of the sewage treatment plant (STP) was found lacking. The key parameters of biological oxygen demand (BoD) and chemical oxygen demand of its treated water have failed within the permissible limits despite regular sampling of water by the State Pollution Control Board. BoD was as high as 46 mg per litre while other parameters such as the extent of suspended solid was 144 mg per litre which was much higher than the permissible limit and even the pH level was abnormally high in the latest sampling report.

Stringent action was yet to be taken to ensure proper working of the STP and its samples had failed even several months prior to surfacing of the jaundice cases.

Officials of the IPH Department have also detected a large number of sewage lines emptying their waste into nullahs.

While the operation of these schemes will now be under the scanner of the SIT officials, issues such as accountability of officials responsible for regulating these schemes would be probed. Though various officials have been treading cautiously after jaundice cases, little had been done to enforce accountability of the regulating bodies.

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