RANCHI: The drinking water and sanitation department (DWSD) has begun a survey of handpumps that have become unfit for use because of presence of fluoride and arsenic contents in their water.
Over the past one week, the DWSD, on the direction of the state high court, has conducted surveys in 1,609 villages in 19 districts. The surveys have found 11,756 handpumps operational and 2,415 out of order. Handpumps with fluoride and arsenic contents in their water have been marked with red colour.
Latehar, Garhwa and Palamu have highest number of red-marked handpumps. On the number of handpumps that have been declared unfit, DWSD’s director (project management unit) Swetab Kumar said the surveys were not focussed on fluoride and arsenic contents in water.
He added, “We have a proposal to install filters and de-fluoridation plants in Garhwa and Palamu.”
Kumar said 61,631 hand-pumps have been repaired in 32 subdivisions since February. “As many as 308 repair vehicles and 454 repair teams are deployed in various blocks and on an average, 1,190 handpumps are being repaired every day,” he added
The project management unit issued a toll free number 1800-3456502 and 9470176901 to help people lodge complaints with the government. “Villagers can call at these numbers between 8am and 8pm,” Kumar said.
Recently, the high court had directed state chief secretary Rajbala Verma to ensure proper supply of drinking water in rural areas, especially during the summer.