A team of experts constituted by the Union ministry of rural development has testified to the presence of a high level of fluoride in drinking water in Jharkhand's Garhwa district, which can be crippling for consumers.
The team has submitted a report to Union minister of rural development, drinking water and sanitation Jairam Ramesh, who said on email he had sent a copy of the findings to Jharkhand chief minister Arjun Munda and had asked him to begin work on the measures suggested by the team.
"Deputy chief minister Sudesh Mahato is meeting me on October 17... I shall raise the issue with him as well," Jairam wrote.
The team, which visited Garhwa, 220 km north-west of Ranchi, during September 25-28, has said in its report: "The entire community (is) fluorosed, crippled, incapacitated and leading a vegetative life."
The five-member team, led by AK Susheela, executive director, Fluorosis Foundation of India, said, "The present scenario speaks for the total neglect of the government."
Reacting to an HT report on August 16, Ramesh had dispatched a team of experts to Jharkhand, besides asking the state government to take remedial measures.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) too has sought information on drinking water in Jharkhand.