Garbage piles raise health concerns

The garbage pile-up in the City is expected to increase with the Dasara festivities. With the possibility of biodegradable waste such as banana stems, mango leaves and ash gourds adding to the uncleared heaps of garbage, doctors in the City fear an outbreak of water-borne diseases.

Dr Rajanna, Resident Medical Officer, Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital, says cases of water-borne diseases may go up if the garbage is not cleared for many days.  “We have been receiving sporadic cases of gastroenteritis and diarrhoea.  With the increase in garbage piles across the City, the chances of water contamination is very high,” he added.  Besides the stink, the leachate (toxic fluid from garbage) can easily contaminate the ground water, he added.

According to doctors, the garbage piles, coupled with rain may lead to an outbreak of jaundice, gastroenteritis, cholera, rat infestation and leptospirosis.

“In a recent study conducted in KG Halli, it was found that uncleared garbage affects children as they are more prone to water-borne diseases. Children come in close contact with garbage while playing and this way toxic materials in garbage can cause adverse effect on their health,” said Dr B S Triveni of Institute of Public Health.

The Health department of the Palike has started spraying chemical (bleaching powder dissolved in water) on garbage piles.  But a Palike official says that no amount of chemical spraying can contain the spread of infection and the best solution is to clear the garbage itself.  The effect of chemical spraying lasts for a very short time and it will not be effective when fresh garbage is dumped on the pile, the official added.

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