The zilla panchayat and the engineering division have identified 145 villages with high fluoride content in their drinking water. Steps have been taken to install reverse osmosis (RO) filter units in 20 villages and defluoridation units in more than 30 villages, Executive Engineer Hanumantappa has said.

Addressing reporters here on Saturday, he said the RO filter units had received an overwhelming response from the people in these villages and added that they would install more filter units in rural areas to ensure supply of safe drinking water. He noted that the fluoride content was higher in Hiriyur and Hosadurga taluks.

As a permanent solution, the panchayat engineering division has prepared an action plan for 77 habitats in and around Aimangala hobli and Havagondanhalli hobli through multi-village schemes.

These projects have been sent for technical approval and the tender process would begin as soon as they get clearance, he said.

A total of 133 tanks in the district come under the zilla panchayat engineering division: 15 are in Chitradurga taluk, 30 in Challakere, 15 in Hiriyur, 35 in Hosadurga, 31 in Holalkere and seven in Molakalmuru taluks. The department had taken up revival work in 68 tanks in the last financial year, by spending Rs. 11 crore. Revival work on 57 tanks has been completed , he said.

Replying to a question, Mr Hanumantappa stated that a total of 40 tanks belonging to the department had been encroached on, and steps were being taken to clear the encroachments.