Less than a week after Nadiad town in central Gujarat, 50 km from Ahmedabad, was hit by cholera, Gandhinagar district Collector Kuldip Arya on Tuesday notified a 2 sq. km area in Kalol as affected by cholera after three deaths, including of two children, were reported.
Kalol town is 31 km from Ahmedabad. There have been reports of hundreds of people undergoing treatment after drinking contaminated water.
People have been complaining about water contamination in the eastern part of Kalol, especially in the slum areas behind JP Lati, for the last nearly one week. Karan, 3, was the first cholera fatality in the area, on Sunday. His father, Kishor Devipujak, then died while performing his son’s last rites. In the same area, Manoj Marwadi also lost his six-year-old daughter Simar to the disease.
“Five of 38 samples tested returned positive for cholera. It mainly spreads through water or food contamination,” Collector Arya told reporters.
Contamination of drinking water due to leakage or rupture in underground pipelines may be the cause, and teams have been formed to find out and rectify them, Arya said.
The nagarpalika administration has claimed that ten teams were deployed in the area, ORS and medicine is distributed to 1,000 families. Nagarpalika has also distributed tablets to purify drinking water. Many people are taking treatment at government and private hospitals and some at home.
However, locals blame the administration for the deaths. Kalol MLA Baldevji Thakor said that he has been complaining about the contaminated water for the past four or five days, but neither the nagarpalika nor the district administration took any action.
Tuesday’s notification, which invokes Section 2 of the Epidemic Disease Act 1897 and the Cholera regulation section of the Mumbai Government Extraordinary Power Part 4, will be in effect for a month. During this time, the Mamlatdar of Kalol city has been appointed as Cholera control officer, and all outlets selling food and drinks will remain shut, officials said.