Himansu Shekhar Rout

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday cracked a whip on the district administration of Sundargarh in connection with the outbreak of cholera in the district. The NGT has sought a report on the cholera-hit areas in the next four weeks.

As per reports, the green tribunal suo motu registered a case following media reports on the spread of cholera that allegedly killed 15 people and affected over 100 others. 

The NGT directed the district administration to constitute a special team to conduct an on-the-spot study of its causes in the affected areas.

The NGT order said that the committee should comprise a senior scientist of the Odisha State Pollution Control Board(OSPCB), a senior scientist of the Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR), an officer of senior rank from the Health and Family Welfare Department of the Government of Odisha, an officer of senior rank from the Water Corporation of Odisha (WATCO), an officer of senior rank from the Public Health and Engineering Department, an officer of senior rank from the Odisha Housing and Urban Development Department, and the District Magistrate, Rourkela. The Committee shall inspect the area in question and submit its report through an affidavit within four weeks. 

The NGT held a hearing of the case on January 25. The Sundargarh Collector, the Rourkela Municipal Corporation, the Odisha State Pollution Control Board, the secretary of the Forest, Environment and Climate Change Department, and the Central Pollution Control Board have been made parties/respondents in the case. 

Also Read: Rourkela residents hold admin responsible for Cholera outbreak

In December 2023, cholera broke out in parts of Rourkela and continued to spread to different areas. Officially it was admitted that nine people died of the water-borne disease while unofficial sources put the toll at 15. 

On January 1, a multi-disciplinary Central team took stock of the situation that had arisen after the outbreak of cholera.

Report by Debabrata