Visakhapatnam: The ground water is contaminated by excess of fluoride in 11 out of 13 districts in Andhra Pradesh, whereas all the 13 districts have areas with excess of nitrate in them.
According to a statement made by Sanwar Lal Jat, Union minister of state for water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation, in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, AP districts including Visakhapatnam, West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam, Nellore, Chittoor, Kadapa, Kurnool, Ananathpur and Srikakulam have been identified as having fluoride levels in excess of 1.5 mg/l, which is the permissible limit as per the drinking water standards of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
At the same time, nitrate content is above the desirable limit of 45 mg/l in all the 13 districts. Similarly, districts including Visakhapatnam, Krishna, Guntur, Nellore, Kurnool, Chittoor and Kadapa have iron content above 0.05 mg/l while the desirable limit is 0.3 mg/l.
The minister further said that the ground water quality data generated by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) indicates that ground water is contaminated in parts of 10 states with arsenic, 20 states with fluoride, 21 states with nitrate and 26 states and union territories with iron. In 15 states, heavy metals such as lead, chromium and cadmium have concentration higher than the norms on the date of analysis as prescribed by BIS. Incidentally, AP doesn’t have any districts with presence of heavy metals and arsenic above the desirable limits.
In Visakhapatnam district, rural water supply department sources said Narsipatnam, Chodavaram and Madugula are affected by excessive fluoride and nitrate. “We have already installed RO (reverse osmosis) plants in 15 villages this year and are planning to extend it to other villages,” said a senior rural water supply department official.
Speaking to TOI, panchayat raj and rural water supply minister Ch Ayyanna Patrudu said, “We first sent a report to the centre on the districts affected by excessive fluoride and nitrate content. Now, it has asked us to submit a detailed list of the affected villages with the promsie that it will provide funds for construction of treatment plants,” he said.
Referring to the estimated funds required for water treatment plants, he said, “As soon as we identify the affected villages, we will be able to suggest the number of water treatment plants required based on which we can make an estimate.”