Remote villages of Bhagalpur and Samstipur districts, considered to be arsenic affected regions, would soon have potable supply of water.
In its bid to help the villagers avoid the risk of taking arsenic laced water, the state public health and engineering department (PHED) has proposed two major water supply schemes, which could be feeding water to villages located upto 75 km away from the treatment plants.
Departmental minister Chandra Mohan Rai said, the department had forwarded the multi-village projects to Nabard for necessary approval and funding, as they required investment of more than R100 crore.
"The department has already operationalised one plant to supply water treated against arsenic in Barhara area of Bhojpur, while another is being commissioned in the same district," he added.
In keeping with the reports of the survey conducted by National Geographic Research Centre (NGRC), which found groundwater in 13 districts partially contaminated with arsenic, the department has already proposed four small plants to cater to the needs of 10-20 villages in four districts. Water extracted from ground in 50 blocks is not considered unsafe for drinking.
As per the survey reports, all the arsenic affected districts are located on the southern side of Ganga or other rivers. While groundwater would be purified and supplied through pipes in less affected villages, those located in Samastipur and Bhagalpur would be fed with treated water from the river Ganga.
Soon after reviewing the status of water supply schemes being implemented in Patna district in a meeting with local public representatives and officials, Rai said some land related issues had delayed setting up the treatment and water supply plant being installed in Maner area of districts.
"Villagers are demanding exorbitant price for their land identified for construction of the water treatment plant in the area," added the minister.