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Policymakers,experts dwell on problem of contaminated surface

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

Policymakers and experts on Tuesday expressed concern over contamination of surface in rural areas of the West and emphasised on popularising cost-effective purification projects to get rid of the problem and provide safe to the masses.

The issue was discussed at a day-long seminar "Sanitary Protection & up-gradation of traditional surface water resources in rural West for producing suitable safe water for drinking & cooking purposes" organised here by non-governmental organisation

West for Panchayat and Rural Develoopment inaugurated the seminar.

The state's Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, of Bindeshwar Pathak, Gourishankar Ghosh, former of Water & Sanitation-UNICEF,former Director of Rajiv Gandhi Drinking Water Mission K J Nath and D N Guha Mazumdar,of the Task force on water were present.

said that the was deeply concerned with the problem of contaminated ground water in many parts of the state and has initiated steps to get rid of it.

Pathak, who was recently awarded with Japan's prestigious 'Nikkei Asia Prize for Culture and Community' for his work in tackling poor hygiene and discrimination, said that the United Nations has declared that the access to safe water is a basic human right but unfortunately in a large number of people are still exposed to the risk of drinking contaminated water.

He highlighted that Sulabh has initiated water projects at Madhusudankati and Iskcon-Haridaspur in North 24 District, Murshidabad in Murshidabad District, Mayapur in district and Suvasgram in South 24 district to provide safe to masses.

Another new project will be launched at Shantiniketan on Wednesday, he added.

He said the Sulabh in collaboration with of introduced "Sulabh Jal" project through which contaminated water of pond and river are converted into safe

The project was introduced three years ago in the three districts of Bengal--North 24 Pargana, Murshidabad and

Currently, villagers are operating the plants with support and technical assistance provided by Sulabh International, he added.

Talking about the project to convert contamiated surface water into potable water at Madhusudan Kanti village on Indo-border in North 24 of West Bengal, said the plant is producing 8000 litres of safe drinking water daily and giving them at a low cost of 50 paisa per litre to masses.

The cases of arsenic-related diseases have dropped within three years in villages of North 24 district following successful run of the water purification plant, he added.

Besides, in West Bengal, Sulabh has also launched such low cost water purification project in Darbhanga district of and plans to expand it to some other areas of too.

Various studies including the one by Central Water Commission has noted that water in almost 40 per cent of the districts of and contain above permissible limits.

urged the Rural Development and to help spread the water purification project in other areas of the state.

In his address, K J Nath highlighted the magnitude of the contaminated in West Bengal.

He said 11 districts of the West Bengal are affected with the problem of water putting a total of 1.79 crore rural and 1.41 crore urban population to risk.

Likewise, seven districts are affected by the problem of prevalence of fluoride in the surface water of West Bengal, he added.

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

First Published: Tue, December 04 2018. 17:45 IST