For the first time, the Assam government has admitted the severe threat to people's health posed by arsenic and fluoride contaminated drinking water in the state. The state's minister for public health engineering, Dinesh Prasad Goala, recently told the assembly that the government has initiated steps to provide alternative sources of water in endemic areas, the Assam Tribune reported. He said while arsenic contamination was detected in Karimganj, Dhemaji and Dhubri districts, fluoride was found in Nagaon, Karbi Anglong, Kamrup and Karimganj districts.
Goala said the contaminated sources of drinking water have been marked with red colour and people have been asked not to use them for drinking and cooking purposes. The government, in collaboration with the unicef, has collected samples from more than 4,200 sources of drinking water in the arsenic-affected districts and sent them for laboratory tests, he added. In the districts suffering fluoride contamination, it has taken measures to provide domestic water filters and employ the Nalgonda technique of defluoridation. De-fluoridation plants have also been installed, he claimed.
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