GUWAHATI, March 2 - Several legislators today criticised the State Government for failing to initiate appropriate measures to address the worsening problem of fluoride and arsenic contamination of groundwater across the State.
Raising the issue during Question Hour, Congress legislator Wazed Ali Choudhury said that interventions at government level were minimal, leaving the affected people in a large number of areas to fend for themselves.
�South Salmara happens to be an affected area. In Santipur and Bilpari villages, arsenic level in groundwater is much higher than the permissible limit. We have not seen any intervention forthcoming even as the people are suffering,� he said.
Congress legislator Motiur Rahman Mandal said that as many as 75 habitations in Mankachar had been declared as epidemic areas in view of large-scale groundwater contamination, but interventions had so far been made only in 12 areas.
BJP legislator Dr Nomal Momin called for urgent measures in all the affected areas, as the affected people � many of them children � were suffering from debilitating ailments. Karbi Anglong is one of the worst-affected areas, he added.
Public Health Engineering (PHE) Minister Rihon Daimary, in his reply, acknowledged the serious situation and said that phase-wise measures under the Centrally-sponsored National Water Quality Sub-Mission were being taken to solve the problem of groundwater contamination by arsenic and fluoride.