GULBARGA: A 20-year-old student of the integrated M.Tech. course in Central University of Karnataka in Gulbarga district fell victim to Hepatitis-E, caused allegedly from consumption of contaminated drinking water on the main campus of the university.
Mohammad Chand Alam, from Madhavpur in Bihar, was admitted in a serious condition three days ago to a private hospital here. He died on the way to a specialty hospital in Hyderabad on Wednesday night.
A tense atmosphere prevailed on campus on Wednesday and Thursday, as news of the student’s death spread. Two more students, including a girl, were admitted to a private hospital with symptoms of Hepatitis and gastroenteritis. Students staged protests on both days at the university, demanding action against the authorities for supplying untreated water for drinking purposes to the hostels.
Deputy Commissioner Vipul Bansal deputed a team of doctors, headed by the District Health and Family Welfare Officer Sajjanshetty, to make an on-the-spot inquiry and submit a report.
Dr. Sajjanshetty told The Hindu that nearly 80 students, including 50 girls, from the hostels, were suffering from minor health problems due to water contamination.
He said inquiries with the university authorities revealed that the water pumped to the university from the Amarja dam was being supplied without purification. The university authorities claimed that the students were told not to use the water for drinking purposes. Dr. Sajjanshetty added that the water purification units installed at the hostels were not functioning properly. He said a team of doctors would visit the university campus on Friday and subsequent days for a health check-up of the affected students. Vice-Chancellor M.N. Sudheendra Rao, who was in Bangalore,, said the drinking water problem had remained an unresolved issue with the State government, and a decision to vacate the hostel till it was resolved would be taken on his return.