BHAWANIPATNA: Fluorosis has taken its toll on the people of at least 10 out of 13 blocks in Kalahandi district. Dozens of people with crippled bones and damaged joints, many bread-winners bedridden, people walking in pain and children having stained or broken teeth are a common sight in several villages of the district.
With pipe water yet to reach many pockets of the district, the debilitating disease has severely affected the villagers of Golamunda, Bhawanipatna, Narla and Karlamunda where fluoride content is found to be more than the permissible limit of 1.5 mg/l in the water sources, particularly tube-wells.
Regular tube-well water sample tests in Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) laboratory here reveal that ground water in more areas is getting contaminated by fluoride.
The areas affected by fluoride contamination are Brundabahal and Baijalpur villages under Brundabahal GP, Chapria, Tingipadar, Chapria, Turechada, Darlipada, Behera and Panjia under Chapria GP, Khasiguda and Tendopani villages in Dhamanpur GP, Kureisuni and Suknimunda villages in Khaliakani GP, Dudkel, Grindol, Tumura and Udeshrung villages in Manjhari GP and Amurlapadar and Antarla villages in Naktikani GP, all in Golamunda block and Santpur,Gohirapadar and surrounding villages in Santpur GP, Ghantmal of Ghantmal GP, Rekhpur in Narla GP in Narla block; Ratanpur and Pastipada in Karlaguda GP under Bhawanipatna block.
A visit to Gohirapadar and Santpur villages under Narla block reveals that water supply here is erratic and people are forced to depend on contaminated sources for their daily needs. According to sources, pipe water is lifted from river Ret which was commissioned in 2009, but supply has been erratic. Tulsiram Sahu, a youth of Gohirapadar, claimed that pipe water is supplied for only about 5 to 6 days per month forcing villagers to consume contaminated water from tube-wells.
The pipe water supply project for Khasiguda, launched in March 2014, is now shut down. Under the Revised Long Term Action Plan (RLTAP), construction of pipe water supply project for Beheraguda, Darlipada, Nuapada and Panjia villages of the block is underway at an estimated cost of `1.69 crore. Water will be pumped from river Tel and after commissioning, the responsibility for running and maintenance of the project will be transferred to GP. On the other hand, no provision for running pipe water project has yet been made in Ratanpur and Pastipada villages in Bhawanipatna block.
Pipe water supply is provided only in Brundabahal, Chapria, Grindol, Udeisrung and Tumra villages of Golamunda block, which are more affected by the disease. RWSS Executive Engineer Bishnukumar Tripathy said people of the affected areas are desisting from using contaminated tube-wells and provision of pipe water from river heads to the affected pockets in phases has been given priority.
Fluoride content found to be more than permissible limit of 1.5 mg/l in water sources, particularly tube-wells, in Golamunda, Bhawanipatna, Narla and Karlamunda.
In Gohirapadar and Santpur villages under Narla block water supply is erratic and people are forced to depend on contaminated sources for their daily needs.
Pipe water is lifted from river Ret which was commissioned in 2009, but supply has been erratic.
• Original article online at http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2017/may/11/fluoride-leaves-more-crippled-in-kalahandi-1603583.html