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Water quality to be a major challenge in Odisha: Experts
By Input from Agencies  Published on: 14-Mar-2014 05:17:02
Place: Bhubaneswar
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Bhubaneswar: Water quality is likely to emerge as a major challenge in Odisha, experts today said at a state level consultation here.

Speaking at the meeting organised by the Regional Centre for Development Cooperation (RCDC), development consultant Gouri Shankar Mishra said India was spending huge amounts to ensure quality water in the states, but the gram panchayats need to monitor and test the water quality twice, once before and again after the Monsoons.

"But the state is failing to monitor it due to lack of infrastructure and human resources in rural areas." he said.

So, the gram panchayats should be empowered and made accountable to ensure water quality, Mishra said, adding if people get quality water, then health would not be a problem as most of ailments were waterborne.

He said only four percent of population have access to piped water while the state claimed it as seven percent.

Though the state has spent Rs 450 crore in providing subsidies for constructing toilets under the Nirmala Bharata Abhiyan, only 14 percent work has been completed, he said.

Testing laboratories at districts and subdivisions were being neglected and technicians were paid meagre amounts, the consultants alleged.

As Fluoride in water was found in as many as 27 of the state's 30 districts, more than 25,000 persons were affected by Fluorosis, they said.

Participants from the districts like Puri, Balasore, Bhadrak, Khurda, Nuapada and Bolangir complained about iron contamination, salinity and chromium in water.

RCDC Director Asim Mohapatra, RCDC Executive Director Kailash Chandra Das, WaterAid state head Bisakha Bhanja, Programme Manager Bimal Pandia, ActionAid Programme Manager Ghasiram Panda and WaterAid Programme Manager Bikash Pati presented methods of testing water quality and roles and responsibilities of local communities at the meeting.

Water quality to be a major challenge in Odisha: Experts

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