New Delhi, Feb 15 – The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday issued notices to the Chief Secretary, Government of Chhattisgarh and the Secretary, Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, calling for the detailed reports over the increasing number of patients due to high levels of fluoride and arsenic in drinking water, within four weeks.
The Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that despite the joint efforts of the Centre and the Government of Chhattisgarh, the number of patients suffering from fluorosis and kidney diseases is increasing due to high level of arsenic and fluoride in drinking water in the state, an official statement said.
The number of total 1148 patients till August, 2016, has gone up now to 1170. The villages adjacent to the industrial areas have been reported to be worst affected. These include, among others, areas in Bastar, Raigarh, Bemetara districts.
”According to the data released by the government, 55 people have died in Supebeda of Gariaband district. However, villagers claim that 103 deaths have happened due to the diseases caused by drinking contaminated water. About 225 people are suffering from kidney diseases,” it said.
According to the media report, about one and an half year back, the Central Government had issued data relating to areas affected with arsenic and fluoride. At that time, the maximum affected areas were found in Rajasthan. Apart from Chhattisgarh, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Punjab, Odisha, Karnataka and Telangana are also suffering from the same health hazard.