There are as many as 86 fluoride-affected habitations in Andhra Pradesh and 52 in Madhya Pradesh, while the eastern districts of Karnataka face water contamination due to uranium, it was mentioned during a regional review meeting of the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) and Swachch Bharat Mission-Rural (SBM) on Saturday.
The regional meeting was held in Bengaluru for stock taking of the JJM and SBM schemes for Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and the UTs of Puducherry and Lakshadweep.
Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, addressed the meeting that was attended by ministers and top bureaucrats of these states and UTs, a release from the Jal Shakti Ministry said.
“It has come to our notice that there are 86 fluoride-affected habitations in Andhra Pradesh and 52 in Madhya Pradesh which deserve immediate remedial action. Similarly, there is information that in the eastern districts of Karnataka, water contamination is reported due to uranium.
“The Ministry is committed to provide drinking water of a prescribed quality to every rural household. It will provide all funds and technical assistance to address these problems," Shekhawat said.
A total of 19 out of 117 aspirational districts fall in the participating states. As on March 1, Telangana has provided tap water connection to all its three aspirational districts while in other states, the coverage ranges between 19 per cent and 52 per cent.
“There is a need to pick up speed so that people living in the region soon get access to clean drinking water," Shekhawat said.
So far under the programme, 92,366 village water and sanitation committees have been constituted and 82,646 village action plans have been developed in the participating states and the UT of Puducherry.
There are 588 water testing laboratories, of which 136 are NABL accredited. These laboratories are open for public where they can carry water samples and get them tested at nominal rates.
In these participating six states and two UTs, more than 2.40 lakh women have been trained on how to perform water quality test using field test kits. These women are part of the five-women surveillance committee, which is assigned the task to frequently check the sources and delivery points and report in case any contamination is found so that immediate remedial action can be initiated, the ministry release said.
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