NORTH LAKHIMPUR, Sept 16 � Five persons are dead and hundred others are undergoing treatment following the outbreak of cholera and diarrhoea at two tea gardens in Lakhimpur district. Since August, reports of the spread of cholera and diarrhoea have been coming in from the Koilamari Tea Estate and its division at Zoihing. This has been attributed to the lack of sanitation facilities and pure and safe drinking water for workers.
The Koilamari Tea Estate and its division allegedly lack basic amenities like toilets and safe drinking water facilities. The workers of these two tea estates reportedly use toilets built during the British era and most of them are also forced to go for open defecation. This area located along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border is also prone to vector-borne diseases like malaria and is affected by jumbo depredations during winter.
This time the misery of the workers of the two tea estates has intensified with the outbreak of cholera and diarrhoea.
According to the Lakhimpur District Health Department, three persons have died of cholera in the area so far and many ill persons have been admitted to the North Lakhimpur Civil Hospital for treatment. The Health Department has despatched a team of health workers, headed by Senior Health Officer (Epidemic) Dr JN Das, to provide medical service in the affected areas.
Meanwhile, the management of these two tea estates has been accused of neglecting the health concern of the workers. The Welfare Officer of the tea estate, however, claimed that sanitary toilets are available for workers.