Kumar Rajiv Nayan

Buxar : Thousands of villagers under Chakki and Simari blocks in Buxar district have no option than to drink contaminated water risking liver infection and other diseases. The government had decided to provide safe drinking water to tthe villagers by purifying Ganga water but the scheme remains a distant dream for them so far due to indifferent attitude of the officials.

A central agency had declared the areas Arsenic Zone after testing the water about eight years back and said that the water is unfit to drink. After that the union and state government jointly approved establishment of Water Purification Plant in 2009 at an estimated cost of Rs 125 crore at Keshavpur in Buxar district.

A company  from Hyderabad, IVRCL Limited, and state government reached an agreement on June 30, 2009, and it was decided to complete the project within 30 months but only 30% of work has been completed due to laxity on the part of contractor. No work has been done on the project for the last three years.

The government had acquired about 20 acre of land from the farmers for the project but the villagers had to resort to agitation as their compensation was not paid on stipulated time and the work on the project was halted. After this, the district administration paid compensation but the work could not pick up speed.District Board member, Simari West, Vijay Kumar Mishra wrote to the Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Chairman, Bihar Legislative Council,and even the Governor, Bihar, but to no avail. Contaminated water creates problem in the marriage of girls as several physical problems arise due to drinking of arsenic water.

Villagers said that even after completion of the project people of only 51 villages under Chakki and Simari blocks of the district will benefit and the rest will have to drink the same Arsenic water. As per data received, out of 87 villages, only 51 villages will get the purified water.

Villagers Kanchan Kumari, Priyanka Upadhyaya and Vinit Dubey said that they are suffering from several water borne diseases. They said that they were hopeful that they would get rid of Arsenic mixed water but their hope was shattered. Vijay Kumar Mishra, District Board Member, Simari West, said that the work on the project may start in March 2017.

Dr Sadashiv Pandey, medical officer, Primary Health Centre, Simari, said that people will suffer from skin, lever and abdominal diseases due to arsenic mixed water. He said that the situation will become more alarming if the government did not take immediate steps. Executive Engineer, PHED, Buxar, Anil Kumar Akhilesh said that the IVRCL Limited, Hyderabad, which was assigned the task, left the work in the middle and the company has been blacklisted and an FIR has been lodged against it and the government has been informed.

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