The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has sanctioned Rs.543.63 crore assistance for mega drinking water supply project in fluoride-contaminated blocks of Odisha’s Nuapada district.
The project envisaged at supplying of 100 litres per capita per day (lpcd) of drinking water to 1.20 lakh families in the fluoride-affected blocks like Sinapali, Boden, Khariar, Komna and Nuapada.
Project Sanctioning Committee of NABARD, which met last week, gave its approval for the mega drinking water supply project. The project is likely to cover nearly 500 villages including 414 villages having no piped water source.
Fluoride contamination has crippled a large population in Nuapada district. Many fluorosis-affected villagers in the backward districts of Odisha cannot even walk properly, let alone work in fields. As the fluoride contamination in the district is widespread, the burden becomes backbreaking for people who struggle to make ends meet.
Although symptoms of fluoride contamination became visible about two decades ago and then State government had also taken note of this problem, lakhs of villagers continue to consume water with high fluoride content.
After steps taken in bits and pieces to provide safe drinking water, the State government had made big move by proposing mega drinking water projects under National Rural Water Development Programme. But the State government backed out from its proposal on account of its inability to contribute matching grant.
The mega project to cover 500 villages including 414 that have no piped water source