Fluoride Action Network

High Court orders supply of drinking water to fluorosis-hit Nalgonda

Source: The Times of India | August 25th, 2001
Location: India

YDERABAD: A division bench of the AP High Court comprising Chief Justice S B Sinha and Justice V V S Rao on Friday directed supply of drinking water in water tankers to fluorosis-affected parts of Nalgonda district.

In a 20-page order, the bench disposed of a writ petition filed by P R Subash Chander. The petitioner complained of failure on the part of the government in providing proper drinking water for the residents of Nalgonda district.

Senior counsel S Ramachandra Rao pointed out that the permissible percentage of fluorine in water was between 0.5 to 0.8% but water in Nalgonda had a high percentage of fluorine ranging from 10 to 13%. He successfully argued before the  bench that any further delay in arresting the consumption of such water would be a serious violation of the right to life guaranteed under the Constitution. “The role of the state to provide every citizen with adequate, clean drinking water and to protect water from getting polluted is not only a fundamental Directive Principle in the governance of the state but is also a right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” the bench said.

The directions issued by the court include consideration by the government of the feasibility of concentrating on mandals where the problem is more acute; free special medical care to all those afflicted with fluorosis free of cost; involving non-governmental organisations like Society for Integrated Development in Urban and Rural Areas and Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning; educating people about use of ground water and if necessary, taking steps to close down borewells where the problem of fluorosis is endemic and consider feasibility of evacuating the people from affected villages to safer places.”