JAGALUR (Davangere dist): Jagalur has turned a hot bed of political activity with the assembly segment set to go for by-polls shortly. Campaigning has gathered momentum and party leaders making a beeline to the taluk in a bid to woo voters. However, polls or no polls, villagers of the taluk continue to suffer from ailments associated with consuming fluoride mixed water, a health hazard battering them for years.

“We have been suffering from various diseases for consuming water with flouride content. We are desperately in need of pure drinking water,” said villagers.

Jagalur taluk has around 107 villages, of which, around 80 per cent get water that has flouride in it. There are no natural water bodies like rivers. Every village has about three to four borewells from whch people can draw only fluoride water. Villagers have no other option but to consume borewell water, knowing that it has high flouride content in it.

Joint pains, teeth problems, muscular pains, stomach pain and headaches are common among people in Gollaratti, Rajnatti, Gidnatti, Bullolli, Machikere, Marajanmatti, Kechhanahalli, Devikere, Chadaragolla, Gowripura, Kyasanahalli and many other villages.

Project hangs in balance

The much awaited Rs 60-crore Upper Bhadra Project has failed to take off. It was planned to provide pure drinking water to each village, but due to lack of political will among the elected representatives, the project has not seen the light of the day.

People living in Jagalur town are a tad luckier than others as they are drawing pure drinking water from Sulekere for the past three years. “The candidates are again making false promises of implementing the project this year. However, we no more believe in their words,” said villagers.

“We are fed up with the apathy of the elected representatives in providing us good drinking water,” said Basavaraj of Maramanalli.

“I am suffering from severe joint pain for consuming fluoride mixed water. We need pure drinking water,” said Ramchandra of Chikkmallan Hole, Girijavva of Gollarhatti.

A government hospital doctor, who wished not be named said, “It is heartening to see an increasing number of patients coming to us with complaints including stomach pain, teeth problems and joint pains, a fallout of consuming water with fluoride content. About 80 to 100 people with these problems are being treated every day. The government should provide pure drinking water to villagers.”