North 24 Parganas suffers the cost of our negligence
Do you know the people living in the West Bengal district of North 24 Paraganas are forced to consume ‘slow poison’ each day, not under compulsion, but because of our negligence?
Unfortunately, the ground water available in this district is heavily contaminated with the highly poisonous metal called arsenic. At least ten million people consume this water each day.
The government authorities have created several committees to study the crisis. All of them have unanimously recommended urgent intervention. But, no serious action has been executed in the ground level.
Notably, no organ in the human body is immune to the attack of arsenic contaminated water. Lungs, kidneys and livers are all equally vulnerable to this cancerous metal. Unlike other harmful metals, this works slowly, making it difficult to assess its danger completely.
In the recent past, several deaths have happened in this region due to cancer and similar dangerous diseases which were not common in this part of the country around two decades ago. Moreover, many living in the region are at present suffering from serious kidney ailments, skin diseases and arsenic-related cancers.
The installation of filters and red marking of harmful ground water sources are the only mentionable steps taken by the ruling authority. Many living in the region are still unaware why the filters are installed and why the red markers are given, as the state government has refined from launching a campaign citing that if such a campaign is launched it would create panic in the society.
Experts say the issue can be easily resolved if the state government show the commitment to lunch a social campaign and a proposed pipeline project, which can bring uncontaminated water from Hooghly river to the affected regions.
The project may cost a sum of one lakh crore rupees. By showing less enthusiasm to earmark the required money, the authorities, it seems, indirectly tries to say that one lakh crore rupee placed on their hands by the tax payers are more import for them than the life of ten million poor people.
Do we, tax payers, really pay more importance to money than life? If no, a social moment is required to let the authorities also understand it.
Vignesh. S. G
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