Shimla, Feb 10: Himachal Pradesh BJP today demanded a judicial inquiry into the outbreak of jaundice in Shimla and surrounding areas and said the apathy of the state government in this matter was appalling.
An inquiry by a sitting High Court judge should be ordered to fix the responsibility and the families of those who died due to jaundice should be given compensation while patients should be given free treatment, party MLA from Shimla, Suresh Bharadwaj told mediapersons here.
Alleging that negligence by Irrigation and Public Health Department, Pollution Control Board and Shimla Municipal Corporation was responsible for outbreak of the epidemic, the former state BJP president said six persons have died while 15,000 are ailing but the government is not concerned and not responding adequately to the situation.
He said it was unfortunate that Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh recently visited Junga but did not bother to go to the sewerage treatment plant which was enroute.
He said while the government has said that jaundice cases would continue to pour in till mid of February, it was apprehended that it would continue till end of the month as the families, which have gone out of station for the winter, would be returning and may fall ill by consuming contaminated water stored in tanks.
The government should close the schools till February 20, he said. He also raised serious objections over the setting up of a STP at Malyana in 2005, which was 6 km away from main water source of Ashwani Khud water supply scheme, and posed grave threat of contamination of water.
There is no approach road for lifting the solid waste generated from the STP, which treats only 30 per cent of the sewerage waste, he said, adding that the SMC which ignored the directions of the High Court given in 2009 was issuing notices to residents for getting sewerage connections.