Actor-politician and Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan is all set to meet Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu on July 31, over the Uddanam kidney disease issue.
Kalyan had highlighted the huge number of cases of kidney-related diseases in the Uddanam region of Srikakulam district, late last year.
Pawan paid a visit to the area and spoke to several locals. His media team even prepared a documentary on the plight of the villagers suffering from this chronic kidney disease known as Uddanam Nephropathy.
Meanwhile, it was reported that his party was also making arrangements for a visit by experts from Harvard University to the suffering villages.
According to reports, the Harvard team would tour the Uddhanam region extensively, and examine locals, to try and diagnose the case of the disease.
As of 2015, It was estimated that more than 4500 people had died in the last ten years, and around 34,000 people were suffering from kidney diseases in this area alone.
It was reported that each family in the area had at least one person suffering from a kidney ailment. The cases had first mysteriously surfaced in the early 90s.
In 2011, a group of researchers had tested and studied the drinking water sources of the villages and found "the presence of phenols and mercury in drinking water to be very high...Phenols and mercury, being very toxic in their characteristic nature, are bio-accumulative. Hence these waters are found not suitable for potable purposes."
But this could not prove that the water was the only reason for the high prevalence of chemicals.
Even in 2016, The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) along with researchers of Harvard University, Andhra Medical College, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and NTR University of Health Sciences had conducted research on the issue. Initially they found that â€śexcessive levels of silica in waterâ€ť could be the cause of the disease. However, the ICMR could not continue the research due to a fund crunch.
After the problem was highlighted recently by Pawan, Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu had also announced measures to look into the issue.
Meanwhile, political circles are abuzz, as the two politicians are meeting officially, after a long time.
In November 2015, Pawan met Naidu on the issue of land acquisition in Thullur.
Pawan, who had campaigned for the Telugu Desam Party-Bharatiya Janata Party (TDP-BJP) alliance in the 2014 elections, but has still also remained critical of some of the decisions of the ruling party.