In an effort to provide safe drinking water to the fluoride-affected villages in the state, the Andhra Pradesh government has announced a Rs 600-crore water supply project.
“We will somehow augment the required finance to implement the project,” Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy said at a seminar on `sustainable policy initiatives on fluorosis’ organised by jointly by citizens against pollution and fluorosis vimochana samithi.
The fluoride-affected districts include Nalgonda, Anantapur, Guntur, Prakasam and Kurnool. The ground water in these districts has been contaminated with fluoride traces between 2 ppm (parts per million) and 15 ppm as against the permissible levels of 1.5 ppm. This has resulted in severe health problems to several hundreds of people often leading to permanent physical disability.
Further, the state government is also contemplating to offer pension scheme to victims of fluorosis. The Chief Minister said that the government has decided to constitute a committee of environmentalists to advise the government on corrective measures on a long-term basis.