Open defecation cause of jaundice in Cuttack: Mathivathanan

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Cuttack: Secretary, Urban Development, G Mathivathanan, who visited the jaundice affected areas of Jobra in the Millennium city on Monday, said poor sanitary condition is the cause for the spread of the water-borne disease.

Talking to media persons after visiting the affected areas, Mathivathanan said jaundice has mostly affected the Jobra area, particularly the Jobra Colony and the Sweeper Colony from where the diseased had spread last year.

He said he had a review meeting with the district administration on the measures it has taken on water supply, sanitation and open defecation which was decided during the outbreak of the disease in these affected areas last year.

Talking about sanitation in the affected areas, he said almost all houses in Jobra Colony and Sweeper Colony have no toilets, while the existing toilets, which do not have septic tanks, directly discharge the excreta in the drain. As a result, the ground water in this area has been thoroughly contaminated.

“Unless this issue is addressed, there will be recurrence of jaundice in this area. Hence the first and foremost task is to sort out toilet problem in these two colonies to stop open defecation,” he pointed out.

Asked whether the replacement of old water pipelines will bring down the incidence of jaundice, Mathivathanan said there will be no change in the situation as the groundwater has been completely contaminated. “To overcome the problem, the only way is to stop open defecation,” he added.

He further said the first job will be to set up community toilets and septic tanks. “We have information that most government land in Jobra had been encroached. We will identify them and set up community toilets and septic tanks there. If there is no availability of required government land, we will find out alternative solutions,” he said.

Meanwhile, the number of jaundice patients in the city went up to 54 on Monday with one more patient testing positive in Kesharpur area.

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