Andhra Pradesh government would mobilize Rs 600 crore for providing safe drinking water for the fluoride-affected villages across the state, Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy said on Friday.

“We are determined to pool in the required funds for taking up permanent measures to tackle fluorosis problem,” Reddy said while inaugurating a seminar on `Sustainable Policy Initiatives on Fluorosis’ organised in Hyderabad by the NGOs, Citizens Against Pollution (CAP) and Fluorosis Vimochana Samithi.

Fluorosis is a serious public health problem affecting 13 states in India including Andhra Pradesh. The fluoride contamination of ground water has been playing havoc with public health with hundreds of people suffering from permanent disability.

The worst affected districts in the state are Nalgonda, Anantapur, Guntur, Prakasam and Kurnool, where fluoride content ranges between 2 ppm (parts per million) and 11 ppm while the permissible limit is 1.5 ppm, the CAP convenor K Purushotham Reddy said.

Acknowledging the gravity of the problem, Reddy said his government would also consider providing pension for those fluoride-affected people who suffer from permanent disability.

A committee of environmentalists would be constituted to advise the government on corrective measures and long-term strategies to tackle fluorosis, Reddy said.