Staff Reporter

BHUBANESWAR: A city-based voluntary organisation has claimed that Membrane Filtrate Technology (MFT) was working effectively in mitigating fluoride contamination at drinking water sources. According to a paper presented by Regional Centre for Development Cooperation (RCDC) at a workshop held here, tubewells installed with MFT at Raipali village under Bolangir district were yielding fluoride free water.

Water from tubewells located in that village contained highest amount of fluoride to the tune of 5.4 mg per litre and there were also no alternative drinking water source in the habitation, RCDC said. MFT was user-friendly and effective to mitigate the contamination, it claimed.

The Orissa government also installed defluoridation technology called Oximax F Clear Technology in Khuenpali village of Bolangir in January 2009 as a pilot project. The RCDC said community could not handle its operation and maintenance as the technology was not user-friendly. Of 569 districts of India, 205 districts are fluoride contaminated and 27 districts of Orissa come under such contaminated category. Orissa is placed fourth after Rajasthan, Sikkim and Gujarat in fluoride front.

Situation precarious

In Orissa, fluoride pockets have been identified in 150 blocks and the situation is precarious in Angul, Bolangir, Nupada, Bargarh, Balasore, Jharsuguda, Khurda, Nayagarh districts. According to a study, percentage of fluoride contaminated habitation in Orissa was 28.3 per cent.