Kolkata: A private agency in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) has come up with a unique device which detects the presence of arsenic in water and purifies it.
The private agency, 'Ado Additives' will tie up with the state government for working together in removing arsenic from water at various water treatment plants and also in the areas where contamination is high.
According to a survey, Bengal has the highest number of arsenic-affected people in the country. The report says there are 83 blocks in eight districts - Bardhaman, Malda, Hooghly, Howrah, Murshidabad, Nadia, North and South 24-Parganas, where ground water is affected by arsenic contamination. There has been an increasing concern of arsenic induced diseases due to exposure to high concentration in deeper levels of groundwater.
According to a report, Bengal topped the list with more than 1.04 crore people being affected by arsenic contamination as in March 2017.
Bihar comes second with 16.88 lakh people and Assam comes in the third spot with 14.48 lakh victims. The total number of arsenic-affected people in the country is about 1.48 crore.
WHO guideline says that for drinking water, the permissible limit of Arsenic in ground water is .01 mg per liter. In India, the permissible limit in drinking water has recently been revised from .05 mg per liter to .01 mg per liter.
The use of deep tube-wells for water supply in the Ganges delta causes serious problem to a large number of people.
The agency has officially unveiled the equipment in a city hotel on Wednesday.
It would approach the Public Health Engineering department so that the products could be used for the detection of arsenic and produce arsenic free water.
State government has initiated a project in order to provide safe drinking water to more than six lakh people in the arsenic-affected Rajarhat and Haroa block in North 24-Paraganas district and Bhangar II blocks in South 24-Paraganas district.
The water treatment plant in New Town will be used to provide safe drinking water to these areas through pipelines.
State PHE minister Subrata Mukherjee had earlier claimed that the State has been able to provide safe drinking water to 52% of the arsenic-affected areas in Bengal.
A senior official at the PHE department said there is a considerable amount of progress in setting up water treatment plants in the state.
The technology for removal of arsenic is rather new and expensive, the progress has been slow, the official maintained.
Sanjib Parial, MD and CEO of 'Ado Additives' said: "We are planning to distribute and market the products in selected areas in collaboration with the respective department of the state government."