For every 1,000 people, a water purifier has been installed in the villages.
Water purifier units have been installed in 117 villages of the taluk of Hoovina Hadagali, Bellary. This was done by the Karnataka government when Mr. Siddaramaiah was the Chief Minister, under the ‘Gramina Kudiyuva Neeru Matte Nairmalya Yojana’ (Rural Drinking Water and Sanitation Project).
This was required as the villagers had issues with increased sodium chloride (NaCl) and other impurities in ground water, before the installation of water purifiers. The Health Inspector at Hoovina Hadagali, Mr. Manjunath said, “Villagers used to visit the hospitals almost on a daily basis because of consumption of water with high NaCl content. Most of the cases reported were bone deformation, joint pains and loosening of the gums, which resulted in the falling of teeth.”
A World Health Organization (WHO) study states that, excessive intake of drinking water containing NaCl at concentrations above 2.5 grams/litre leads to hypertension in human beings.
Another problem faced by the villagers was the damaged crops due to excess NaCl in water used for irrigation. Farmer Ningappa Mylar, resident of Hoovina Hadagali said, “Half of my crops got damaged because I couldn’t use clean water for irrigation,” He added that he had faced financial losses because of this.
Mr. Prakash Naik, Taluk Information, Education and Communication Coordinator (I.E.C.) for Hoovina Hadagali said, “Out of all the villages in our taluk, Ushtangi, Manyaramadala, and Kattebennur had substandard health and environment conditions”
Mr. M.M. Mallaya, the Bill Collector and Head of the Devagondahalli Gram Panchayat said, “After the plan to install these water purifiers was approved, the main issue officials faced was the allocation of space for purifiers units in each village.” This was the only problem people faced during the installation process.
Now, due to the installation of these water purifiers, villagers can get 20 litres of purified water for Rs. 2. This ensures clean drinking water for all villagers at low costs. Mallaya added that almost all villages have water purifiers now. Manjunath claimed that there has been a huge decline, by 75 percent, in the number of NaCl-related cases registered at hospitals in the taluk, after the water purifiers were functional.