The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought an action taken report (ATR) from the Odisha government over the alleged deaths of at least 28 persons due to kidney related diseases in three villages of Bolangir district over a period of four years due to consumption of water drawn from tube wells with excessive fluoride content.

Acting on a complaint filed by human rights activist, Akhand, in the matter, the Commission, while expressing concern, has asked the state chief secretary to file an ATR within four weeks.

Petitioner Akhand has alleged that at least 28 people have died within four years in three villages of Bolangir district due to excessive fluoride content in the water from tube-wells there.

Eight people of Adendunguri village of Jharanipali Panchayat, 12 people of Dhanradadar and eight people of Rampur of Bendra Panchayat in Agalpur Block of Bolangir district have lost their lives due to kidney related diseases caused due to consumption of contaminated/ high fluoride content water from tube wells, stated Akhand in his petition.

The petitioner also alleged that the government failed to provide an alternative source of potable water to the villagers and had not taken any steps to compensate the families of the victims.

The villagers had on several occasions approached the district administration and local peoples representatives to solve the problems. But no action has been taken, he said.