Students of several schools in arsenic affected areas in North 24-Parganas are now getting safe drinking water with the State government’s initiative to install Iron Arsenic Removal Treatment Machines.
Water pumped out using tube wells are purified in the machine before the students drink it. The three step purification process is the first of its kind in the state. It has been taken up as a pilot project after necessary studies were carried out.
At present the machines have been set up in 68 schools and once the project becomes successful the same will be implemented in another 138 schools and other arsenic affected areas.
Initially the steps were taken to provide safe drinking water to the higher secondary and secondary schools. Gradually steps will be taken for installing the machines in primary schools as well.
Pratima Maity, whose students go to one of the schools where such machine has been set up, said: “It was our long standing demand. We had always requested the school authorities to take some steps to help the students get safe drinking water.
Despite having a will the school authorities were unable to do anything due to lack of fund.
Now at least the children will get to drink safe water when they will be in school.” She said that now no students carry water to school from home. The teachers too, told the students not to be afraid of drinking the water.
Steps were also taken for regular maintenance of the machine and cleaning the reservoir. It may be recalled that the steps were taken to use solar power to supply safe drinking water to students in schools in South 24-Parganas.