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Investment in drinking water, sanitation as important as investment in defence

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  • Ronan Kelly
    Over 5 years later..... - Ro

    Fluoride Contamination Cripples a Thousand Children in Assam

    Fluoride concentration in groundwater is going up as wells are getting deeper; experts say using surface water after treatment is the only way out.

    Over a thousand children below the age of five have been crippled by fluorosis in the last five-six years in Hojai, in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam. The most pronounced symptoms are bent legs and crooked teeth.

    The culprit? Fluoride-contaminated water. According to an official survey, fluoride levels in water above the permissible limit of 1 mg/litre has been found in 11 districts in the state putting an estimated 356,000 people at risk. Experts warn that the numbers will rise if appropriate steps are not taken on an emergency basis.

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  • Investment in drinking water, sanitation as important as investment in defence

    Investment in drinking water, sanitation as important as investment in defence: Jairam Ramesh
    Press Trust of India

    New Delhi: In the upcoming budget to be presented on the March 16, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation may see a hike in allocation that could be anything between 40 to 60 per cent, which means that the allocation could go up from approximately Rs 9500 crore to at least Rs 14,000 crore.
    Speaking at the 2nd meeting of National Drinking Water and Sanitation Council, the minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation Jairam Ramesh said, "We must feel that investment in water supply and sanitation is a matter of urgent priority. It is as important as investing in defence. We can invest in missiles, aircrafts and tanks but if we don't have clean drinking water and sanitation, the population is not going to be healthy... We are becoming a wealthy population but not a healthy one."
    The minister has already argued his case for enhanced allocation before the ...
    Sixty districts suffer from Japanese Encephalitis and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome. Parts of Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha suffer from arsenic and fluoride contamination. The many units set up during the 80s for treating contaminated water are almost dysfunctional.
    Speaking at the meeting, Dr Indira Chakravarty emphasized how poor quality of drinking water could lead to anemia. The last round of National family Health Survey revealed anemia has increased over the years!