With more than 1.98 crore people spread across seven districts living in arsenic prone zones, the state government has decided to make alternative arrangements to provide them arsenic free water by 2022, state Public Health Engineering department minister Soumen Mahapatra said in the assembly on Tuesday. The state government has also decided to provide clean, arsenic free piped drinking water to the people of 65000 villages of the state by the year 2024.
“We will provide arsenic free drinking water to the people in 83 blocks spreading over 7 districts across the state. Already 94 per cent people of the total affected areas has started getting clean water and by 2022 we will be able to provide clean arsenic free water to all the people of the affected districts. We have decided to construct overhead reservoirs and supply water to the people from there,” Mahapatra while answering a question in the assembly said.
According to state government officials seven districts including Nadia, Birbhum, North Dinajpur, South and North 24 Parganas, Malda, Murshidabad. Apart from that some parts of Burdwan district is also affected. “More than 83 blocks in these seven districts are affected and recently arsenic has been traced in four blocks of Burdwan. Around 1.98 crore people in the state live in arsenic affected.” Mahapatra added.
The minister also announced that all the villages in the state would be covered under the piped drinking water supply within 2024. “As many as 65,000 villages across the state would soon be covered with piped drinking water soon,” he added. Criticising the centre the minister said, “Initially, it was said that the Centre would bear 75 per cent of the total cost of various schemes while the state government would provide 25 per cent.”
Source: Times of India