Fluoride Action Network

Even Fluoride-laced Water is Precious in Pavagada

Source: The New Indian Express | March 28th, 2016 | By Devaraj B Hirehalli
Location: India

TUMAKURU:  The water situation at Pavagada taluk is particularly grim as it has no surface water resource because no live river flows through it and it has no drinking water project either. As a result, its groundwater has impermissible levels of fluoride and fluorosis which continues to haunt people. Potable drinking water is a luxury here.

“We buy drinking water by paying Rs 20 for a 20-litre can from private water suppliers from nearby T N Pete and Roppa villages. But that is meant only for our grandparents to drink as they complain of joint pains if they consume the tap water supplied by the Kodamadagu Gram Panchayat,” say schoolgoing children Nitin and his younger sister Deepa at Kadamalakunte village, about 9 km from Pavagada town.

Their stained teeth are testimony to the ill-effects of fluoride contamination. They reveal that only a few families can afford to get potable drinking water and others inevitably have to drink the fluoride-laced water.

“We cannot afford to drink the filtered water as it is expensive,” said Ramanjinamma, a farm hand.

Due to uncertainty of power supply, the residents do not know when they get water. “Erratic power supply has taken away even the fluoride water from us,” remarked Ravi, a farmer.

In fact, the Taluk Panchayat of Madhugiri had set up a defluorination unit a couple of years ago, but it has been defunct for nine months now.

Panchayat Development officer Ramanji said power supply was poor and a separate transformer adapter, which was installed, too had become defunct. “I had approached the officials, who promised to get it repaired,” he said.

The village has over 400 households and 90 per cent of the population constitute SCs and STs. Many villages in the district suffer the same fate.

Water Flows To Andhra

•  In Kadamalakunte, locals pay `20 for a 20 litre can of drinking water

•  A pipeline through Pavagada takes Tungabadra water to Kalyanadurga, Hindupur, Rayadurga, Penugonda and Anantpur of Andhra Pradesh