Miscelleneous : Environmental Legislation

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(B) Power of Chairman of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). It is stated, "The Chairman shall have overall control over the day to day activities of the State Pollution Control Boards".

Do the State Pollution Control Boards follow the request of Central Pollution Control Board?

It is stated, "an estimated 62 million people in India in 17 out of 32 states (including Union Territories) are affected with dental, skeletal / or non-skeletal fluorosis". [Susheela,A.K. Current Science 77(1999) 1250-1256].

During 1998, hundreds of patients suffering fluorosis was first discovered from Assam [Chakraborti et al., Current Science, 78(12), 1421-1423, 2000] (Photograph-1).

More than 300,000 people in West Bengal alone suffering from arsenical skin lesions. 5 million people in West Bengal are drinking arsenic contaminated water above WHO guideline value 10 µg/l and about 40 million people are at risk. [Chakraborti et al., Environmental Health Perspective, 108:393-397, 2000]. Photograph-2

In Rajnandagaon of Madhya Pradesh arsenic underground water and people suffering from arsenicosis was reported in February 1999 [Chakraborti et al., Cu
rrent Science, 77(4), 502-504, 1999] (Photograph-3).

Dr. Chakraborti wrote a letter to the Chairman, CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) that possibilities of arsenic and fluoride in other states can not be ruled out. Thus it was requested to test fluoride, arsenic and other toxins in drinking water in all states of India.

The Chairman of CPCB wrote in April 1999 to all State Pollution Control Board (Annexure-1) and requested to test PHED groundwater of all the water supplied to public for potable purpose.

During last one year we tested 245 hand tubewells of PHED, Government of West Bengal from North 24-Pargnas above 100 meters from where people are drinking water and 28% have arsenic above 10 µg/l the WHO guideline value and 12% above 50 µg/l WHO maximum permissible limit. In October 2000 arsenic is found in deep tubewells in hospitals, Zoo, National library above WHO guideline value (Figure-1).

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