Some areas of the Bayana town in Bharatpur district, Rajasthan, have been suffering from an acute shortage of water for the last 40 years. Here, the women have been bringing drinking water from a crematorium, around 1 km away, for the last four decades. Why so, one might ask. The answer is that the excessive amount of fluoride in the water which is supplied in the area renders it unworthy of drinking. Unable to drink any of it, this water is used only for washing purposes.
Complaints have been made about this, but the local authorities are yet to take any action. Around 600 families in Mahadev Gali, Bamapura, Kachhipada, and Gangapada areas of Bayana town are facing this problem. Over the last 15 years, this problem has assumed a massive form. Since the start of the day, the children and women of these localities start struggling to get drinking water throughout the day.
In these areas, which are mainly populated by working-class people, the water supply department is currently providing water from borewells. According to locals, the water has so much fluoride that it ‘bursts’ if put on a boil along with milk. Apart from this, people fall sick after drinking the water.
Locals said the Gambhir river used to pass through Bayana about 30 years ago. Water was supplied from this river to the whole of Bayana. However, after borewells were installed, fresh water wasn’t available anymore. The authorities continue supplying water from borewells despite being notified of complaints, the locals allege.