Fluoride Action Network

Odisha: Potable water still a luxury for fluoride affected villages

Source: The New Indian Express | August 20th, 2014
Location: India

BHUBANESWAR: Even as the State Government had set 2013 as deadline for completing drinking water projects in fluoride-hit districts, 744 affected habitations are yet to be provided safe drinking water.

Nuapada is the worst affected district with 600 habitations still to be covered under pipe water supply (PWS) scheme. The district administration is yet to identify the water sources from where safe drinking water could be supplied to 229 fluoride affected villages.

The State Government recently directed Rural Development Department to identify water sources and submit a report by August 31. The department is yet to submit a proposal to the Government to cover these villages under PWS scheme.

Of the 2,355 habitations of Nuapada district, 905 are affected with high fluoride content. While 305 habitations are already covered, steps are being taken to provide piped water to another 80 habitations through 34 PWS projects by the end of the year.  Though the department has planned to address the problem of 342 fluoride affected habitations through 16 mega PWS projects, non-availability of funds has emerged as a major problem.

Estimated to cost about `395 crore, the department has requested the State Government to submit the proposal of the 16 mega PWS projects to the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation for special central assistance.

Sources in the department said that detailed project report has been prepared for three projects for which the high power committee of the Government has given approval for RIDF funding.

The department has asked the Superintending Engineers of other 15 fluoride affected districts to submit detailed project reports for providing piped water to 144 habitations.