Fluoride Action Network

Fluoride, arsenic concentration found in 73 Jharkhand hamlets

Source: The Print | April 22nd, 2022 | By PTI (Press Trust of India)
Location: India

Note from Fluoride Action Network:
One lakh is one hundred thousand (100,000). (EC)

Ranchi, Apr 22 (PTI) The Jharkhand government has identified 73 hamlets affected by fluoride and arsenic concentration in groundwater, which causes several health complications, officials said.

According to the Central Ground Water Board website, fluoride concentration was found above 1.5mg/l in parts of Bokaro, Dhanbad, Garhwa, Giridih, Godda, Gumla, Koderma, Pakur, Palamu, Ranchi, Sahibganj, and Khunti districts and arsenic concentration was found above 0.01mg/l in parts of Sahibganj and Lohardaga.

Drinking Water and Sanitation Department (DWSD) secretary Prashant Kumar said, “We have identified 73 tolas in several districts, including Garhwa and Palamu, which are affected by fluoride and arsenic concentration.

“As an interim arrangement, we are providing them drinking water through community water purification plants (CWPP). As a long-term plan, we are identifying surface water sources to provide tap water facilities through the pipeline under the Jal Jivan Mission.” The concentration of fluoride above the permissible limit in drinking water can lead to bone, gum, and teeth damage, whereas excessive arsenic can cause roughness in the skin and it could also lead to a thickness of palm and sole skin, said Dr. SK Mandal, senior dermatologist at Sahid Nimal Mahto Medical College and Hospital, Dhanbad.

Jharkhand has more than 1.20 lakh hamlets and there are three to four tube wells in each hamlet for drinking water purposes.

The department has also emphasised the need for increasing the number of water laboratories to increase the number of water quality testing.

All 29 water testing laboratories in the state have been strengthened, officials said.

In 2021-22, as many as 1.67 lakh water samples collected from 19,727 villages have been tested. More than 10,000 water samples have been tested by the Jal Sahiyas at the village level covering 465 villages.

“Under capacity building and public awareness campaign, five women from each village are being given water quality testing training. Till now, women from 1,500 villages have been imparted training,” the secretary said.

Meanwhile, the state has applied for NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) accreditation for its 10 district-level water quality testing laboratories at Chaibasa, Latehar, Jhumri Teliya, Deoghar, Garhwa, Pakur, Ramgarh, Khunti, Simdega, and Saraikela-Kharswan.