You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Over 3.6 rural people at risk due to unsafe drinking water:

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Over 3.6 crore people living in more than 63,000 rural habitations are exposed to health hazards due to drinking water quality problems like excess arsenic, fluoride, iron, salinity or nitrate.

Of this, 1,318 rural habitations are arsenic-affected, Minister of State for Drinking Water Ram Kripal Yadav told the Upper House in a written reply.

"As reported by the state governments under the Online Integrated Management System (IMIS) of the Ministry as on December 15, there are 63,378 rural habitations affected by water quality problems like excess arsenic, fluoride, iron, salinity or nitrate in one or more rural drinking water sources.

"The total population at risk as on December 15 is 3.6 crore," Yadav said.

The Union Minister also said there are 1,318 arsenic- affected rural habitations in the country which are yet to be provided with safe drinking water. The permissible limit of arsenic in drinking water is 0.05 milligram per litre.

"Due to prolonged consumption of excess arsenic in drinking water, dermal changes are characterized including in children by increased pigmentation and hardening of the skin that is combination of melanosis and keratosis.

"The most common sequence is the gradual development of sportted or raindrop pigmentation followed by gradual emergence of a hyper-keratotic chagnes. If not detected and prevented in the early stages, these manifestations may lead to cancer," he said in the reply.

Yadav said the Ministry has advised all states to commission piped water supply schemes preferably from safe surface water sources as a long-term sustainable solution.

"Since such projects take certain time, the ministry has suggested the states to install community water purification plants especially in arsenic and fluoride-affected habitations so as to provide 8-10 litres per capita per day of safe water for drinking and cooking purposes, quickly," he said.

Replying to another question, the Minister said there are "no habitations in the country without drinking water facilities" as per the IMIS.

He said some of the rural population living in 63,000 houses are "not getting clean drinking water" as one or more of drinking water sources at these habitations are "contaminated by chemicals" like arsenic, fluoride, iron, nitrate and salinity.

Yadav informed that the government has released Rs 2758.45 crore to states in the current fiscal for providing safe drinking water to rural areas.

The Minister said the government has prepared a "strategic plan" to cover 90 per cent of the rural population through piped water supply schemes by 2022.

"States have been advised to set up community water purification plants or provide safe drinking water through surface water-based piped supply schemes in all remaining arsenic and fluoride-affected habitations by March 2017," he said.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Mon, December 21 2015. 15:42 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU