Regional Centre for Development Cooperation (RCDC) has alleged that the state government provide incorrect information in the Assembly regarding fluoride contamination of Drinking Water.
In a press statement RCDC said that, “From media coverage of Odisha Assembly proceeding, Regional Centre for Development Cooperation (RCDC) has learnt that fluoride contamination of drinking issue came up for discussion in Odisha Assembly on July 15,2014. In his reply Minister for Rural Development Badri Narayan Patra has reportedly informed the House that a total of 927 villages, including 118 villages in Nuapada district, have been identified as those having high fluoride contaminated drinking water sources.”
“If the above media report is correct, then the august Assembly has in all probability been provided with wrong or incomplete information. Number of villages affected by Fluoride is far more than what have been stated by the Minister, “RCDC statement said.
RCDC statement further said that, “The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation maintains a web based MIS. As per the MIS for year 2013-14, 987 drinking water sources, out of a total of 8,605 sources tested in Nuapada district, were found to be having fluoride content in excess of 1.5 mg per litre which is the danger level. This was the test result ‘Field Test Kits (FTK)’ based water testing.”
“The laboratory test result, which is considered more accurate, also shows that numbers of villages affected in Nuapada are far more that what the Minister told the Assembly. From a thorough culling of MIS data it was found out that 739 drinking water sources in 201 villages had been identified with fluoride contamination in excess of 1.5 mg in year 2013-14. Some sources even reported contamination as high as 7.75 mg/litre. Even these figures looks incomplete as the MIS did not report any fluoride contamination in as many as 42 Gram Panchayats. For example, the MIS did not show any fluoride contaminated source in Bhaisadani, Boirgaon and Sunapur Panchayats of Boden Block; Jhagrai, Kendetara, Michhapali, Mundapalla, Nuagaon, Pendrawan, Rajana, Sialati, Soseng, Sunabeda, Tarbod, Thikapali and Tikrapada of Komna Block ; Dabri, Khasbahal, Sardhapur and Tukula Panchayats of Khariar Block; Amsena, Biromal, Bisora, Boirbhadi, Budhipali, Dharambandh, Dumerpani, Godfula, Kendubahara, Kermelli, Khuntvanveera, Kodomeri, Kotenchhuan, Kulia Bandh, Mota Nuapada, Parkod, Rajput Nuapada, Saliha and Tanwat Panchayats of of Nuapada Block; Khairpadar, Sinapali and Timanpur Panchyats of Sinapali Block. Many Panchayats have been reported with just one or two fluoride contaminated sources, “RCDC statement further added.
RCDC statement further said that, “In the above circumstances, the reply by Government to the Assembly on July 15, 2014 seems to be quite woefully incorrect. Regional Centre for Development Cooperation (RCDC) expresses its concern that fluoride contamination is not being taken seriously by the State Government. Wrong and incomplete information will only harm the drive to provide people safe water. Thus, the primary responsibility of regularly testing the sources has to be accorded top priority and the database has to be updated at the earliest. Implementation of mega-pipe water supply projects, too, needs to speed up with determination.”