Fluoride Action Network

UP in trouble for not checking ground water pollution

Source: The Times of India | July 29th, 2014 | By Swati Mathur
Location: India

LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh government may be headed for troubled waters over failure to curb extensive ground water contamination in the Singrauli area of Sonbhadra. Despite orders from the principal bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in New Delhi, the state government has not, so far, submitted a compliance report before the bench, with details of action taken to ensure availability of clean drinking water to nearly 120 villages in Sonbhadra, where water contamination has led to serious health disorders and deaths.

The matter has now been posted for further hearing on August 4. The NGT had, in its earlier orders on May 13, 21 and 28, directed the Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh governments, where a total of nearly 200 villages are affected to install reverse osmosis (RO) plants in the entire Singrauli region, regarded as one of the critically polluted zones of India. As an interim arrangement—until RO plants were installed—the tribunal had directed both states to ensure immediate availability of clean water through tankers or pipelines.

While MP has already turned in a compliance report for the measures the state has taken to supply clean drinking water to about 80 affected villages in the Singrauli region of MP, UP has not, so far, followed suit. Speaking to TOI, Supreme Court lawyer representing UP government at the NGT, Savitri Pandey, said “UP government has taken measures to ensure clean water is supplied to the affected villages. Where RO plants have not been installed, the government is supplying tanker water. The state’s compliance report will also be submitted by August 4.”

The issue of critical pollution in the Singrauli area was raised in a petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer Ashwani Dubey in NGT. Dubey has charged several companieswith causing serious air, water and soil pollution in the Singrauli area. As a result of rampant industrial waste being deposited in the catchment areas of rivers in the region, the ground water of Singrauli region has been tested laden heavily with mercury, arsenic and fluoride, resulting in severe health repercussions, impotency, infertility and handicap and fatalities among residents.