The National Green Tribunal on Friday issued notices to 11 district collectors, the health ministry secretary and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board regarding the presence of fluoride in water.
Justice V R Kingaonkar and Dr Ajay Deshpande took cognisance after Pune-based Sahyog trust led by Advocate Asim Sarode filed the case before the Tribunal. The body has asked the officials to be present on January 15 to file their replies.
“The district collectors of Nanded, Chandrapur, Beed, Yavatmal, Latur, Washim, Parbhani, Hingoli, Jalna, Jalgaon, Nagpur and Bhandara are aware of the issue, but it seems that they have not followed their duties towards providing clean drinking water to people,” the application filed at NGT read.
Sarode said fluorosis had become a social problem related to health rights for the population residing in the twelve districts.
The presence of fluoride concentration, nitrate, iron and alkaline content higher than the permissible limit has caused teeth fluorosis and skeleton fluorosis in people.
The NGT has permitted the applicants to amend the application by including issues pertaining to unbridled and unchecked exploitation of ground-water for commercial use.
The respondents have been directed to set out the measures taken for mitigating with exploitation of groundwater for commercial use, particularly the sale of it by hawkers and other agencies.
The applicant has urged that all the district collectors and health ministry, including MPCB, be directed to submit a time-bound plan of action to address issues related to fluoride-mixed water. “All the regional offices of the MPCB shall be asked to submit a report on the analysis of the quality of water and level of contamination in groundwater in all 12 fluorosis affected districts,” the application read.