NHRC seeks response from Bihar government to contaminated groundwater

PATNA: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday issued notices to the secretary of state and the secretary of the department of public health engineering about media reports citing the 2021-22 Bihar Economic Survey Report that 31 of the state’s 38 districts have contaminated groundwater with presence of arsenic, fluoride and excess iron.
Suo motu, taking note of the media report, has requested a report from the government within six weeks, finding that the content, if true, raises a serious problem of human rights violations. “The report should include safety measures taken to provide drinking water in those districts, as well as the implementation of the scheme under ‘Har-Ghar-Nal-Ka-Jal-Yojana,’ the NHRC said.
It has also asked the Bihar State Pollution Control Board to submit a report on the random sampling of groundwater. “The media report of March 3, 2022 also revealed that groundwater is chemically contaminated in 30,272 wards nationwide. A total of 4,742 rural districts of 14 districts along the Ganges are particularly affected by arsenic, 3,791 rural districts of 11 districts have been affected by fluoride and 9 Kosi basin districts and a few areas in other districts have excessive iron,” the commission said.
According to the Bihar Economic Survey Report, the affected districts include Begusarai, Bhagalpur, Bhojpur, Buxar, Darbhanga, Katihar, Khagaria, Lakhisarai, Munger, Samastipur, Saran, Sitamarhi, Patna, Vaishali, Aurangabad, Banka, Bhagalpur, Gaya, Jamui, Kaimur, Munger, Nalanda, Rohtas, Sheikhpura, Nawada and Araria.

Rahul Singh
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