It’s official! No habitation in Telangana State is now flouride-affected, thanks to the State government’s flagship programme – Mission Bhagiratha. The State government, through this innovative water grid programme, brought down the number of flouride-affected habitations in the State from 967 to zero within a span of five years.

According to a statement tabled by the Union government in Parliament on Thursday, Telangana had 967 fluoride-affected habitations as on April 1, 2015, which was brought down to zero as on August 1 this year.
Majority of the 967 flouride-affected habitations were in erstwhile Nalgonda district, bringing in sufferings for over one lakh local residents for decades due to excessive intake of fluoride water. People affected by the disease have been suffering from various ailments pertaining to bones and teeth. The drinking water in flouride-affected villages had flourine levels of 10 mg to 19 mg per litre against the maximum permissible limit of 1 mg per litre.

“The number of Fluoride-affected villages at the time of formation of Telangana was 967. After the successful implementation of Mission Bhagiratha, the number has come down to zero,” Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister KT Rama Rao tweeted on Friday. He congratulated the Mission Bhagiratha team for successfully overcoming the problem.

The Centre’s statement comes as no surprise, after the State was ranked number one in the country last month under the Centre’s Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) for providing functional tap connections to 98.31 per cent (over 53.45 lakh) households in the State.

Despite continued presence of flouride in groundwater erstwhile Nalgonda district, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s Mission Bhagiratha has been credited to have achieved miraculous results.

The State government spent about Rs 43,791 crore on implementing Mission Bhagiratha, providing bulk water connections to 23,960 of 23,968 habitations in the State. It spent more than Rs 1,200 crore to build water treatment plants and provide piped-water connections to every household in flouride-affected villages.

In the flouride-affected erstwhile Nalgonda district alone, the State government spent Rs 436 crore to build a water treatment plant and supply safe drinking water to 585 villages affected by flourosis.

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