PATNA: The high concentration of arsenic, fluoride, and iron in the groundwater in 36 districts of Bihar has started posing a major health hazard. With the consumption of this carcinogenic water, there is a rise in skin, liver, kidney, and other water-borne diseases among the residents of these affected districts.
According to a report tabled by the Nitish Kumar government in the Bihar Assembly, the higher concentration of contaminated water is found in Patna, Begusarai, Bhagalpur, Vaishali, Buxar, Darbhanga, Katihar, Khagria, Lakhisarai, Munger, Samastipur, Saran, Sitamarhi, and Bhojpur.
Official sources have said that 4742 wards spread in these 14 districts have a higher arsenic concentration in the groundwater.
Similarly, the groundwater in 3791 wards of 11 districts of Aurangabad, Banka, Bhagalpur, Gaya, Jamui, Kaimur, Munger, Nalanda, Rohtas, Sheikhpura, and Nawada has been found with a stronger presence of fluoride.
The contamination with the presence of higher presence of iron in the groundwater in 21739 wards in 11 districts. These districts are Araria, Begusarai, Bhagalpur, Katihar, Khagaria, Kishanganj, Madhepura,Munger,Purnia,Saharsa and Supaul.
The Public Health Engineering Department, responsible for ensuring safe drinking water to the locals of these affected districts, has started drilling deep-water borewells.
The 'Har-Ghar-Jal-Nal-Yojna', started by CM Nitish Kumar, is also aimed at providing safe drinking water to the people living in rural areas
Under this scheme, the state government has decided to install over 53224 handpumps.
According to official figures, the department has a target of nearly 7.59 lakh households in 14 arsenic-affected districts followed by 6.07 lakh households in 11 fluoride-hit districts and 34.78 lakh households in iron-affected areas for providing safe drinking water through deep drilled water boring or other means.