… The groundwater in one-third of India’s 600 districts is not fit for drinking as the concentration of fluoride, iron, salinity and arsenic exceeds the tolerance levels. About 65 million people have been suffering from fluorosis, a crippling disease due to a high amount of fluoride, and five million are suffering from arsenicosis in West Bengal due to high amount of arsenic in ground water. Fluoride contamination of fresh water also affects large parts of rural India. More than 25 million people across 17 states have to drink water with fluoride concentrations higher than the maximum permissible limit of 1.5 parts per million, During the visit to the villages in Birbhum district of West Bengal, many villagers were found with the deformities, both physical and dental, caused by fluoride.

Arsenic in West Bengal was described as one of the largest known “Mass Poisoning in human history”. In West Bengal at present, fewer people are drinking arsenic-contaminated water than before due to growing awareness and access to arsenic safe water.

But in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Assam, villagers are still drinking contaminated water as this problem is largely unrecognized.

We observed contaminant such as chloride in Daltanganj, nitrate in Sindri, fluoride in Talcher, chromium in Sukinda and so on in the ground water above the tolerance level. All these instances occurred due to direct recharge of these contaminants to the aquifer. Simultaneously release of metals from the soil/rock in contact with contaminated recharge water was noticed. A World Resources Report says- about 70 per cent of India’s water supply is seriously polluted with sewage effluents…

*Original article titled Community policing – Road to healthy environment is online at https://www.thesangaiexpress.com/Encyc/2019/7/29/Sadly-in-the-21st-century-about-600-million-Indians-face-high-to-extreme-water-stress-and-about-1-00-000-people-die-every-year-due-to-inadequate-access-to-safe-water-when-technology-has-advanced-wi.html