Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Water Resources
11-March-2011 15:18 IST
Contamination of Ground Water
The Government has informed Lok Sabha that as per information received from U.P. Jal Nigam, testing for arsenic contamination in drinking water of India Mark –II Hand Pumps was carried out in 51 districts, with UNICEF support during 2005-2007. There was no new survey done in the year 2011. No such study with UNICEF support has been carried out for testing for fluoride contamination. Giving this information in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, ShriVincent H. Pala, Minister of State for Water Resources, said that as per the UNICEF assisted study for arsenic, 74 blocks in 28 districts of Uttar Pradesh are affected by arsenic contamination on the basis of the permissible limit of 0.01 mg/lt prescribed by WHO. However, as per the Government of India standards of 0.05 mg/lt. prevailing at that time, only seven districts namely Ballia, Lakhimpur, Kheri, Behraich, Gorakhpur, Ghazipur, Chandauli and Bareilly were found to be affected by arsenic contamination. Similarly, Water Quality Survey carried out by UP Jal Nigam in 2003, drinking water sources in 207 blocks of 44 districts were affected by fluoride contamination. No studies on heavy metal contamination were carried out by UNICEF.

Shri Pala further informed the House that Central Ground Water Board has been carrying out exploratory drilling in the arsenic affected areas of the State to delineate arsenic free aquifers. So far, 23 exploratory wells tapping arsenic free aquifer zones have been constructed in the districts of Ballia, Balrampur, Gonda, Ghazipur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Mau & Siddharthnagar. The Minister of State for Water Resources said that remedial measures for treatment of water in the affected areas are undertaken by the concerned state government water supplying agencies. However, Ministry of Rural Development, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation supplements the efforts of the States by providing them the technical and financial assistance under the centrally sponsored scheme of National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP).