New Delhi | The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today issued notices to 27 states calling for a report on the steps taken by their respective governments to address the problem of fluorosis in drinking water. The Commission’s directions followed a presentation by the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation before it on January 20 on the problems of fluorosis in the drinking water of various states and short-term, medium-term and long-term solutions for mitigating the problem of contamination.
According to the presentation there are more than 1000 habitations affected by fluorosis in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The problem of fluorosis is also acute in some other states where more than 100 habitations are affected. These are Bihar, Karnataka, Odisha, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Assam, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Tripura etc, said a statement issued by NHRC.
The Ministry said that the National Rural Drinking Water Programme had been launched to provide every rural person with adequate safe water for drinking, cooking and other domestic needs on a sustainable basis. The challenges and the new initiatives of the Central Government for providing safe drinking water were also outlined with reference to fluoride and arsenic problem in different States. The Indian Council for Medical Research also made a presentation on the contributions of the Council in the field of fluorosis.
The Commission had taken suo motu cognizance of a media report alleging fluoride above permissible levels in drinking water in 14132 habitations in 19 states and had asked the Secretary, Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to make a presentation on the gravity of the problem and the steps taken by the Central and various state governments to combat it, the statement said.
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