Rashmi Rekha Das

The State Assembly on Tuesday witnessed ruckus after Oppositions Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress targeted the state government over cholera deaths at Kashipur in Rayagada district.

Opposition Chief Whip Mohan Majhi raised the issue criticising the government for hiding the actual deaths caused by cholera in Kashipur.  

Majhi said, “According to data furnished by the government, nine people died of cholera at Kashipur while in reality, the disease has claimed 14 lives. The state government has claimed that remaining five persons had natural death. If that is the case, the government has to submit post-mortem report of five persons in the House.”

He further claimed that cholera has spread to other localities. The situation has become alarming at Kashipur because Utkal Alumina is releasing water without doing water treatment. 

He demanded to form an all-party committee to probe the matter.

Bringing the same allegation against Utkal Alumina, Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati said, “The disease has taken the lives of 14 persons at Kashipur and three lives at Dasamantpur. The company has failed to adhere to terms and conditions of the agreement.  So an all-party committee should be constituted under the supervision of Speaker to investigate the issue.”

Tara demanded compensation of Rs 10 lakh compensation for each victim’s family.

Health Minister Naba Das said, “Cholera toll might have increased to 14. If Opposition asks us to provide post-mortem report in written, the district administration will be asked to do so. Doctors’ teams are there. Situation at Kashipur is under control now.”