Based on the fluorine content of the drinking water in the country, fluorosis is a problem in 19 States, which are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Orissa, Punjab, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Kerala, Assam, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand & Chhatisgarh.
Accordingly to the WHO sponsored project carried out by Regional Occupational Health Centre (ICMR), Kolkata, 6 million people across 9 districts of West Bengal are exposed to arsenic contaminated water.
Fluorosis is combated by provision of safe drinking water. Provision of safe drinking water is a State subject. However, Government of India supplements the efforts of the State Governments/Union Territories by providing funds under the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP) and Prime Minister’s Gramoddya Yojana (PMGY) – Rural Drinking Water for tackling quality related problems and sustainability issues in respect of rural drinking water supply.
A new Centrally Sponsored Scheme entitled ‘National Programme for Prevention and Control of Fluorosis’ has been prepared for the 11th Five Year Plan with a budget provision of Rs. 68 crores. Planning Commission has approved the scheme in principle and a token provision of Rs. 1 crore has been made for the year 2007-08 in order to prevent and control fluorosis.
This information was given by the Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
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