Uddanam… Known to the world for the wrong reason. A majority of people suffer here with a kidney alignment. The Uddanam Kidney issue was used for publicity stunt by then Chief Minister Mr Chandrababu Naidu and Pawan Kalyan. Numerous meetings and tours, and rants to help the victims, have used the issue for years for their personal publicity and shed tears in front of the victims. But they were left in the flounder as long as they were in power. Now the situation is quite different. Now there is no publicity, no hype at all, no more tours. The crocodile tears of yesteryear should not be at all. Everything came to actions. The Jagan Mohan Reddy government has stepped in to help the victims. Providing purified drinking water on a war footing has found a permanent antidote to the disease. The government has come up with an exceptional drinking water scheme as a permanent solution to the Uddanam kidney problem.
MEIL’ solution to the rarest problem in the world
Uddanam village in Srikakulam district is one of the four areas in the world with kidney disease. Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka and Uddanam are four areas of the world’s most affected by kidney disease. Numerous researches have concluded and found that the toxic factors in the drinking water are the primary cause of the kidney problem of the people here. The late Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy at the time thought that the solution to this problem was to provide safe drinking water to every family. He initiated the safe drinking water program to provide potable drinking water to the people. But with his death, the plan was shelved. The TDP government came to power in 2014 and did not put any effort to solve the problem. The Janasena Chief Mr Pawan Kalyan rushed to Uddanam and created a euphoria. But, no attempt was made to find a solution. Mr.Chandrababu and Mr Pawan Kalyan were limited to false promises and tours. They did not make any attempt for a permanent solution unless the problem was used political gains. Soon after Chief Minister, Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy came to power, he set up a permanent drinking water project in Uddanam and has set up a research centre. The project was designed with an estimated cost of Rs.700 crores and the authorities called for tenders works worth Rs. 530 crores. Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Limited (MEIL) has come forward to do works for Rs. 527 crores in reverse tendering. This 0.60 per cent was less than the fixed price.
MEIL is planning starts works soon, and it will supply 1.12 TMC of water for drinking water needs of Uddanam area. MEIL, in collaboration with the AP government, will soon find out a permanent solution to the Uddanam problem. People in this area are will soon to get away with kidney problems. AP government officials say MEIL, which has undertaken largest projects in the world in the field of drinking water, will complete the project with quality standards within the stipulated time. In addition to Uddanam, two municipalities in Palasa and Ichapuram constituencies in Srikakulam district and Kavithi, Sompeta, Kanchili, Ichapuram, Palasa, Vajrapukottur and Mandasa mandals where the kidney victims are more prevalent.
Drinking water from 100km
Over 5.74 lakhs people are living in 809 habitats in Uddanam area, and they depend on the bore water for their drinking water needs. The experts found that there is a risk of kidney disease in the groundwater in the region. As the nearby Bahuda and Mahendra Tanaya rivers dry up in summer, the people of this area have left with no other option than to depend on the groundwater. MEIL is planning to bring the water from a reservoir in Heera Mandal through the underground pipeline, and the water is treated at Miliakutty Mandal with sand filters. From there, the water will fill the overhead tanks and supply to every household.
Uddanam: Plagued for years
Uddanam kidney problems are not new. For years the problems are prevailing. No one could able to solve the problem. The chief Minister Mr YS Jagan now comes forward to solve the problem with the fullest commitment. This long harassing problem in Uddanam was first exposed in 1985-86, and 1990 decade the problem was aggravated. The agitations and the concerns begun, but the then rulers took the issue with very easily. The number of people affected by kidney disease increasing every day. The governments in the past passed the time by taking temporary measures. The local leaders took the issue to then chief minister YS Rajeshekar Reddy. He immediately ordered the officials to make a comprehensive plan to solve the problem. Accidentally, he died in a mishap, when the efforts for solution was near completion. In 2014 TDP came into the power. The Chandrababu led government has shown insincerity in addressing the issue. TDP ally and Janasena chief Mr Pawan Kalyan visited the Uddanam area in 2017 and created euphoria but did nothing to solve the problem. He staged a “Deeksha” in Etcherla in May 2018 and made more halchal. Even the former chief minister Mr Chandrababu Naidu did nothing but focus on the publicity with several meetings. The Harvard University team and then Union health minister and current BJP national president Mr JP Nadda said that a team of experts to study the Uddanam problem in Vizag. So far, NGRI, Baba Automic Research Centre, Andhra University, Andhra medical college, ICMR and several private agencies have studied the Uddanam problems. But, they failed to discover the key reason for the issue. We can understand the gravity of the problem by looking at the statistics. There are 35-40 kidney patients for every 100. Tests were carried out to identify kidney disease victims in various areas across the Uddanam area through 17 mobile centres. Tests were conducted for 1.3 lakh people in 107 villages and found 14000 kidney disease victims. There is more number of victims in Kavithi Mandal. Since the kidney problem came into light, an estimated 10000 people have died so far. It is estimated that one person in every village in the Uddanam area dies of kidney problems every two days.