NHRC seeks report from state on gastro deaths in Shivamogga

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday sought a report from the Karnataka government over reports of deaths due to acute gastroenteritis in Shivamogga district.

It asked the Chief Secretary to submit a report within four weeks on the three deaths and hospitalisation of 35 others in Bhadravathi taluk.

The NHRC said the district health officer had stated that the consumption of contaminated piped drinking water is suspected to be the reason behind the outbreak of gastroenteritis. The piped drinking water is supplied by the gram panchayat.

It is observed that if the contents of the news report are true, it raises serious issue of violation of right to life and health of the victims as drinking water is a basic amenity and the state is bound to ensure its uncontaminated supply.

Quoting media reports, it said water samples have been collected from two overhead tanks in the village and from the houses of the patients. These have been sent to the laboratory for examination.

“The residents have, reportedly, expressed their anguish that the water tanks are not cleaned regularly. It is further mentioned that a similar outbreak of gastroenteritis was reported from the same area in 2017 also,” it added.

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