Fluoride Action Network

Fluorosis-hit Garhwa village yet to get safe drinking water

Source: The Times of India | September 10th, 2013
Location: India

Garhwa: The Rs 2-crore drinking water supply scheme is yet to bring relief to residents of the fluorosis-hit Pratappur village, 15km from the district headquarter, here more than one year after it started.

The project, which started in 2007, was completed last year but supply of safe drinking water did not start. The village is badly affected by fluorosis and has been demanding supply of safe water for a long time. Although a transformer was installed by the electricity department, the drinking water and sanitation department (DWSD) did not start supply citing low voltage problem.

Dr Aslam Ansari, a panchayat samiti member in Pratappur, said: “The situation here has turned from bad to worse. The administration is not serious about the problem as it is dilly-dallying in providing safe drinking water. The situation is that water supply through tankers has stopped since last one month.”

On the other hand, executive engineer at DWSD Nazre Imam said: “Though the water supply has been stopped due to low voltage, safe drinking water is being supplied regularly through tankers.”

A five-member National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) team, headed by Prof A C K Sushila, executive director Fluorosis Research and Rural Development Foundation (FRRDF), had visited Pratappur on September 27 in 2011 and found the situation alarming. “A large number of villagers, including men, women and children, were crippled in Pratappur,” said Sushila.

The team had also given suggestions to deputy commissioner R P Sinha on installation of a removal attachment plan, launching of special awareness drive and opening of a fluorosis detection centre in the district. But no concrete initiative has been taken till date.

S Jalaja, a special rapporteur at NHRC who also visited Pratappur on March 2 this year, had expressed grave concern on the situation.

“The situation is alarming and steps should be taken to mitigate the problem,” said Jalaja.

During her two-and-a-half hour visit, Jalaja also met affected people and took stock of the situation. Villagers alleged that the village was so far neglected by the district administration.