Monday, January 04, 2010

Health is a big casualty City Ballot Problems

Health is a big casualty City Ballot Problems

Sharath S. Srivatsa
Gastroenteritis is a common occurrence in this constituency
— Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

LOCAL ISSUE: Poor hygiene has been a cause for concern in the Chamarajpet Assembly Constituency in Bangalore.
BANGALORE: If the city panics at a gastroenteritis-outbreak during summer, residents in these very densely populated localities fret almost every day. With a high-level of water contamination in the area, as doctors point out, gastroenteritis is a common occurrence here along with typhoid.

Water contamination and poor hygienic conditions have been a cause for concern in the thickly populated Jagjivan Ram Nagar, Padarayanapura and Rayapuram wards that portray a picture of appalling conditions in the Chamarajpet Assembly constituency, while Azad Nagar, Chamarajpet and K.R. Markets wards are comparatively better developed in the constituency that is bisected by the traffic-choked Mysore Road. A large number of small-scale polymer, machine tools and weaving units operate in the area attracting a large number of workers from outside.

“I get at least five cases of gastroenteritis every week, which is mostly caused by contaminated water from the borewells. Though the number of cases in the recent months has come down due to the government’s initiative, it is still high when compared to other areas in the city,” S.N. Indresh, a medical practitioner at Padarayanapura, told The Hindu.

“Clean water is a big issue here and we consume whatever we get. It (water) is mostly contaminated by the storm-water drain or the leakage in the sewerage lines,” Syed Pasha, a resident said.

Not only are the number of gastroenteritis and typhoid cases are high but also the incidence of tuberculosis has kept the doctors worried.

“Poorly ventilated homes and unhygienic conditions are to be blamed for the high incidence of tuberculosis. I have even treated a three-year-old child for tuberculosis,” Dr. Indresh said.

Incidentally, the small pocket of Padarayanapura area alone has over 25 medical practitioners, and a large number of medical shops.

Encroachments of government property are among the issues that plague Azad Nagar area so much so that roads have shrunk in size, claim the residents. Once a sprawling water body, the Karithimmanahalli Lake has become a big drain while a major portion of the lakebed is encroached upon by residential buildings.

“It is a mockery that the Forest Department prohibits the public from swimming in the lake. Where is the lake and how can somebody swim in the drain,” questions L. Anjani, a resident of Azad Nagar.

Among others, disuse of the community hall in Azad Nagar, erratic water supply and traffic congestion are the local issues that are affecting the public.

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