RAIPUR: The problem of fluoride contamination in Chhattisgarh continues unabated as eight more villages in Bastar Division have been found with high concentrations of the sat in ground water, making it unfit for human consumption. Though the Public Health Engineering Department has started supplying water through tankers to the affected villages, bringing the total number of villages that are receiving potable water through road transportation to almost 20 till now, numerous health problems are being caused to the residents.
It may be recalled that the TOI had recently (March 21) highlighted the problem of high concentration of fluoride in ground water, which is causing innumerable problems and sufferings to hundreds of people in Bastar. The problem in fact extends much beyond the boundaries of the erstwhile princely state and virtually plagues 15 of the 27 districts of Chhattisgarh. Fluoride contamination of over 10Mg/L, against the permissible limit of 1.5 Mg/L, has been in fact detected in certain areas of the state, posing extreme health hazards to the people.
While Bastar has 90 habitats grappling with this problem, the districts of Sarguja (81), Balrampur (65), Kanker (57), Surajpur (46), Korba (43), Kondagaon (40), Balod (31), Dhamtari (29), Koria (10), Gariyaband (8), Durg (7), Raigarh (7), Bijapur (6), Bemetra (1) are the other areas that are adversely affected with high concentration of fluoride in ground water. Certain deep tube wells in Korba (Karmandi) and Kanker (Charbhata) Districts have been detected with fluoride concentration as high as over 10mg/l.
Talking to TOI, SK Chandra, PHED Executive Engineer said that recently drinking water was tested in 263 villages in Bastar and high fluoride content was discovered in 167 out of the 3,554 hand pumps checked in 44 villages. Keeping this in mind, the state government has established a total of 105 “fluoride removal plants” in 105 settlements of 44 villages in Bastar region. At the same time, each of the 105 settlements in 44 villages now have the ‘Flouride Removal Plant’ established in the region.
The EE revealed that five fluoride affected development blocks of Bastar and six villages of Bakavad Development Block are already receiving water through a tankers.
The eight villages that are receiving clean drinking water through the transport system in Bastar Development Block include Khandsara, Nandpura, Turpura, Kesharpal of Bajarpara while in Bakawand Development Block the same is being supplied in Jaibel, Dimrapal, Badejirakhal and Garenga villages.