Bhubaneswar: The State Government has decided to launch a mega drinking water project for Nuapada and Kalahandi. These two districts are most affected by fluoride contamination. The proposed project, targeted to be completed in two years, would cost Rs 750 crore.
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has agreed in principle to provide financial assistance for the mega project under its Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) scheme. Rural Development secretary Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra told the media that in the first phase of the project, filters would be installed in tube wells in the affected districts in which the fluoride content in the water is found to be in excess. The installation of filters in these tube wells would be completed by March this year, he added.
People of 927 villages in the State are presently using drinking water having excess fluoride content. Of these 927 affected villages, 118 are in Nuapada district while the remaining 739 villages are spread over 15 districts. People of 118 villages in Khariar, Boden and Sinapali blocks in Nuapada district are becoming victims of fluorosis due to excess fluoride content in the water.