HYDERABAD: Two law students from Hyderabad filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in Hyderabad High Court on Thursday on the widespread prevalence of fluorosis and lack of safe drinking water in Nalgonda. The two would be fighting the case on their own.
This is probably the first time that law students from the second year filed a PIL in the High court for a social issue. The students, K Mukhendu Kaushik and KSS Yasaswi, filed the PIL after they came face to face with the miseries of people of Marriguda in Nalgonda district.
Yasaswi says, “The issue in Nalgonda is of disastrous proportions. It is not just that some people are still dependent on high fluoride content groundwater for drinking purpose but they are consuming food being grown in the area which is irrigated with the same water. Day in and day out they are consuming fluorine.”
“Even the tap water which some are getting is not potable. When we tested tap water sample along with groundwater at a lab in Hyderabad it was found that fluoride content was higher by ten times than the prescribed standards,” he adds.
Kaushik says, “When we interacted with the villagers it was visible that there is still not much awareness on either fluorosis or the precautionary medical measures to be taken to prevent it. The issue of fluorosis in Nalgonda is known since decades and still there is a lack of concrete measures by government.”
“The government says that it will provide safe drinking water through Mission Bhagiratha by 2018. Should the people drink fluoride affected water till then and suffer,” he asks.
Yasaswi says, “The Fundamental Right to a dignified life, guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution is being violated in Nalgonda. Why cannot the government eradicate fluorosis and ensure people are aware on precautionary measures to be taken in a mission mode like it is being done for polio across the country?”
Kaushik adds, “As held by the Supreme Court in many landmark cases, water is a basic need for survival of human beings. In flourosis affected areas like Nalgonda, it is a case of clear violation of the people’s right to safe drinking water. Since there is a right, there is a remedy. We decided to pursue this matter because, ultimately ‘Salus populi est Suprema lexn esto’, which in Latin means Safety of people is the supreme law.”
The students say that they are being helped in their endeavour by Hyderabad-based environmentalist K Purushotham Reddy.