Jajpur: People in 1,972 villages in the state are staring at serious health hazard as the groundwater there has high iron content while the groundwater in 41 villages has fluoride content, as per reports.
There are 23 divisions of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) department. Under these divisions, groundwater in 2,045 villages contains fluoride, high iron content and salt, reports said.
There is resentment among people of 41 villages over consumption of water with fluoride content. Likewise, groundwater in 26 villages is very salty and water in six villages contains nitrate. As the water in all these villages is harmful to health, the RWSS has issued an order to make provision of piped drinking water.
On the other hand, the RWSS and the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) have prepared reports about the status of the groundwater, but data in the two reports have discrepancies.
The engineer-in-chief of the RWSS department has June 30 sought reports from the superintending engineers and executive engineers of the all the divisions about provision of piped drinking water to all these villages. They were told to update the IMIS portal with suggested modalities.
As per RWSS report, Bolangir has 11 villages where groundwater contains fluoride and iron; water in 106 villages of Jagatsinghpur contains fluoride and iron; water in 13 villages of Kalahandi has fluoride, iron and nitrate content and 404 villages in Kandhamal are affected by fluoride and iron contents in water.
In Malkangiri, there are 299 villages where groundwater contains fluoride, iron and nitrate while groundwater in 110 villages of Rayagada has contents of fluoride and iron.
However, the report denied presence of harmful contents in groundwater under RWSS divisions of Angul, Balasore, Bhadrak, Deogarh, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Keonjhar, Anandapur and Nuapada.
But the report prepared by the member secretary of the SPCB May 23 said that the groundwater in the areas around Joda east iron ore mines; Tata Steel Joda West mines; Sirajuddin iron ore mines in Balda; KN Ram and Core Roida-2 iron ore mines and KP Enterprisers Thakurani iron ore mines has high iron content.
Besides, groundwater in Angul Township and Banrpal areas contains nitrate while the groundwater in Kuanrpur in Balasore contains high level of fluoride.
Similarly, iron content remains high in the groundwater of Kamarda mining area in Jajpur; Angul Nalco Township and Kulad; Nuapada government hospital area and Court Chhak in Kendrapara.
The disparate reports by RWSS and SPCB about groundwater status have baffled many.