Fluoride Action Network

Toxicity victims await promised RO systems in villages

Source: The Times of India | TNN
Posted on February 22nd, 2011
Location: India

FEROZEPUR: The fate of residents of Teja Rohela and Dona Nanka villages in Fazilka subdivision of Ferozepur district, hit by health problems, including neurologically impaired children, cancer cases, kidney ailments and infertility, as a result of multiple environmental toxicity, has not changed even as the local administration had promised better health facilities and installation of RO [reverse osmosis] systems for supply of clean potable water.

In June last year, TOI [Times of India] had prominently raised the issue of increasing cases of neurological disorders, cancer, arthritis and skeletal fluorosis among villagers, including those of Teja Rohela, Dona Nanka, Gatti No. 3 and Khubban.

TOI report had highlighted how Teja Rohela and Dona Nanka have turned into villages of the diseased, with a large number of residents suffering from stunted growth. More alarming were cases of children and adults suffering from neurological disorders like cerebral palsy, mental retardation, autism, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities and various other forms of undefined neuromuscular manifestations.

Following TOI report, Kamal Kishor Yadav, deputy commissioner, Ferozepur, had visited the village along with a team of medical experts in June 2010 and promised to get RO systems installed to meet the potable water needs of the residents. He had also promised regular medical camps. Ironically, even after so many months, nothing has been done and residents of these villages continue to consume polluted water.

“Even after the government had detected that multiple environment toxicity was adversely affecting us, nothing substantial has been done to improve our quality of lives. We are still forced to drink underground water as we do not have any other alternative,” rued Raj Bakash, a local resident.

“All the promises have turned out to be false,” said Malkit Singh of Teja Rohela village. Raj Singh, another villager, told TOI that it was learnt that the administration had called tenders for installing RO system about four months ago. However, as the village did not have its own panchayat land to install it, the proposal was pending. It is only now that a local resident has offered a small piece of land for installing the plant.

When contacted, Yadav repeated his previous promise that nearly 100 other villages in the district, where the drinking water is not fit for human consumption, are shortly getting RO Systems.