Orissa is Still Battling Water Woes

Water Problem in OrissaBhubaneswar: Cholera and diarrhea epidemic, in three tribal-dominated Orissa regions have claimed 164 lives up till now, as functionaries confirmed five more casualties in worst-hit Koraput yesterday.

R K Agarwal, Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO), said the death toll, which has climbed up to 159 on Wednesday, further came up to 164 with confirmation of five deaths in Dasmantpur block of Koraput area.

Whilst the toll in Koraput region climbed to 73, the circumstances remained unchanged in Rayagada with 64 deaths as the fatal illnesses claimed as many as 27 lives in Kalahandi, official sources stated.

The water-borne illnesses had adopted epidemic form in nine zones of these three backward areas situated adjacent to one another though separated by hills and the waterspread of the vast Indravati reservoir.

In spite of the State Government’s claim to have efficiently controlled the diseases spread, residents of these areas alleged that the government failed to supply the necessary medical facilities to the patients.

Though state Congress president, Jayadev Jena, and former Chief Minister, Giridhar Gamang, also MP from Koraput, demanded quick declaration of epidemic in affected districts, State Revenue Minister, Manmohan Samal, who visited cholera-hit areas, disdained it claiming the condition was under control and there was no need to worry about.