BENGALURU: Observing that providing potable water is a fundamental duty of the state and an integral right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution, Upa Lokayukta Justice KN Phaneendra has decided to initiate proceedings to direct the zilla panchayats to ensure functioning and periodic maintenance of Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants installed across the state, especially in fluoride-affected areas.
“Maintenance of RO plants vests with the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Department. As such, there was some delay in restoring and maintaining the plants due to non-availability of technical staff and laxity on the part of the contractors who are entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining the RO plants. This aspect needs to be addressed by the CEOs of zilla panchayats concerned,” Justice Phaneendra said.
Expressing concern over the working and periodic maintenance of the RO plants installed in fluoride-affected areas in some districts of the state namely Kanakapura, Bagepalli, Gudibanda, Pavagada and other areas of Chitradurga, Chikkaballapura, Kolar and Tumakuru districts, he said, “It was necessary to direct CEOs of ZPs where the fluoride, nitrate and arsenic content is beyond the permissible limits in drinking water to take action.”
The Upa Lokayukta’s decision came after he took note of the RO plants installed in Jogihatti of Chitradurga district which were not maintained and had become defunct within a few days of installation, pushing villagers into misery.