HYDERABAD: A water mafia operating in Nalgonda district is preventing people living in fluoride-affected villages from drinking Krishna water though it is being supplied to them. The water mafia mainly comprises those who own and operate reverse osmosis plants to purify borewell water. By spreading information that the Krishna water being supplied is impure, the mafia is making sure that people buy cans of water from them.
With this being the situation, students of Mahatma Gandhi University, Yellareddygudem, Nalgonda are taking a survey to find out how often the Krishna drinking water is being supplied, how many people are not drinking it and for what reasons.
“We have a questionnaire that will provide us with all the required information. The teams will go to 30 villages to gather the information,” said Arjun L Khandare, deputy director, National Institute of Nutrition (NIN).
Fluorosis is a major problem in Nalgonda district and as a remedial measure, drinking water from the Krishna river was provided to some of the villages. However, NIN scientists found out that false information was being spread in the villages that Krishna water was causing diseases.
According to Khandare, the problem is actually with the ‘purified’ water from reverse osmosis plants. In the RO process, the water from borewells is purified to the extent that all the fluoride content is removed. However, all the required minerals also get removed in the process.
“Drinking such water for long periods of time is harmful. It may cause several health problems like gastroenteritis, ulcers and heart problems,” he said. In packaged and branded water, however, the lost minerals like calcium, magnesium and zinc are added after the water is purified.