More than 70,000 habitations in the country do not have safe drinking water as it is contaminated with fluoride, arsenic and heavy metals among others.
In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi said as on July 18, there are 70,807 habitations in the country where water is contaminated.
As per the data shared by the minister, Rajasthan has maximum 20,895 such habitations followed by Assam, Jharkhand and Bihar.
Water at more than 36,500 habitations is contaminated with iron. At almost 14,000 habitations, fluoride is present in water.
“All the states have been advised to accord priority to providing safe drinking water in water quality affected habitations with special focus on coverage of arsenic and fluoride affected habitations,” Jigajinagi said in the reply.
As per the ministry’s plan, 90 per cent of rural population would be provided safe drinking water by 2022 through surface water based piped water supply schemes, subject to availability of funds.