Minister for Tribal Welfare Nakka Anandababu said on Monday the tribals of the Chaparai hamlet in Boddagandi Panchayat in Y. Ramavaram mandal drank contaminated stream water in their village instead of the water from the seven bores dug by the ITDA some years back. He asked officials to submit reports on the water and the food the 375 tribals had consumed 10 days before the deaths.
Speaking to reporters after visiting the Rampachodavaram Area Hospital where 32 tribals are receiving treatment for fever, leg swelling and other diseases, the Minister said the stream water was contaminated with animal carcass.
He said it was regrettable that the incident had come to the notice of the officials late. There were 75 families living in Chaparai and according to official reports 16 people including three children had died.
Two medical teams were sent to Chaparai and some more teams to six hamlets in the mandal. The Minister said the divisional panchayat officer and Velugu officials were monitoring the situation.
He said the government would supply water filters and train the tribals on using them. The Minister said four children should be shifted to a corporate hospital in Kakinada.