The poor quality of water in Ramanagaram district was reinforced after samples from all 1,180 villages in the district was tested recently. At least 44 per cent of the population of the district are at high-risk owing to excess fluoride and nitrate content in the drinking water.
The Health and Family Welfare Department, under the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Fluorosis, conducted tests and found that samples drawn from 520 villages were not fit for consumption.
The fluoride concentration was found to be higher than the permissible level of 0.5 to 1.5 parts per million (ppm), B.S. Anilkumar, fluorosis consultant, Ramanagaram, said.
Speaking to The Hindu here on Thursday, Mr. Anilkumar said the “condition is very critical” at some villages.
Of the samples drawn across the district, excess fluoride, iron and (or) nitrate content were found in 185 villages in Ramanagaram taluk,114 in Channapatna taluk, 103 in Magadi taluk, and 118 villages in Kanakapura taluk, an official said. Excess fluoride and nitrate in drinking water can cause permanent disability, kidney stone formation, dental fluorosis, skeletal deformities, irritation in eyes and mucous membranes, spine-related ailments, skin disorders, and blue-baby syndrome, the official said.
The Ramanagaram Zilla Panchayat (ZP) has launched a programme to install Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants in rural areas. “We have already installed them in 79 villages and will cover 129 more villages shortly,” a senior ZP officer said. Besides, the ZP has also been installing water filters in schools and anganwadis.