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'2/3rd global population could be under stress due to water scarcity by 2025'

IANS  |  Kolkata 

Around 1,800 million people would be living in countries or regions with absolute by the year 2025, when two-thirds of the could be under stress, an expert said here on Tuesday.

In India, which is one of the major countries hit by the menace of arsenic contamination of groundwater, the government projects have suffered due to lack of people's involvement, government's said at a workshop organised by the (SISSO).

"During 1970s and 80s, a large number of people in the Ganga-Brahmaputra plains (West Bengal, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Assam) were affected by arsenic contaminated It is acute in and The government programmes providing arsenic free involves operational problem as people are not involved in it," said Nath, former of All Institute of Hygiene and Public Health.

He pointed out that in the 1930s and 40s, surface was the primary source of drinking water. But due to epidemic of diarrhoea and cholera, the government shifted to deep tubewells and that brought the problem of arsenic.

Permissible amount of arsenic in drinking water is 0.05 mg/l in as per

The 2011 Census says that 1.79 crore of rural and 1.41 crore of urban population is affected with high arsenic level in

Turning to the global scenario, Nath said the way water defies political boundaries and classification, the crisis is also beyond the scope of any individual country or sector and cannot be dealt with in isolation.

"By 2025, 1800 million people will be living in countries or regions with absolute and two-thirds of the could be under stress condition," he said.

SISSO, working to improve sanitation in the country, has taken up pilot projects in five places of for providing treated surface water at a nominal price.

"Through our pilot projects in Madhusudankati (North 24 Parganas), Paschim Midnapur, Harisdaspur (Bongaon), we have been able to assist local NGOs and self-help groups to provide safe water by treating surface water," SISSO Founder said.

The plant in Madhusudankati provides almost 8,000 litres of water per day at Rs 1 per litre.

Pathak mentioned that there are similar projects where the plant is run by community people in and

"We are also planning to set up a new plant in Madhusudankati and another one in Bengal that will treat and make it arsenic free. With a new technology from Denmark, there will be no problem of dealing with the disposal of the collected arsenic," Pathak said.

State Panchayat and Rural Development, and called for spreading more awareness.

"Around 83 blocks in West Bengal and some places in Kolkata have high arsenic level in ground water. We are working hard to provide safe water but the main issue is awareness. It is not just about arsenic but also about saving our depleting water resources," Mukherjee said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, December 04 2018. 21:36 IST