Among rural habitations in Indian states, 55,511 face quality issues with drinking water. As of November 27 this year, 3.22 per cent of rural habitations across all states and UTs, accounting for 3.73 per cent of the population, were consuming drinking water with quality issues, according to data tabled by the Ministry of Jal Shakti in Parliament.
Iron is the most common contaminant of drinking water, with over 18,000 rural habitations affected, followed by salinity that affects roughly 13,000 rural habitations, arsenic (12,000), fluoride (nearly 8,000) and heavy metal.
Rajasthan has the highest number of rural habitations affected by contamination overall, at 16,833. Most of these – 12,182 – are affected by salinity in drinking water, at 12,182.
In terms of arsenic and iron pollution, West Bengal and Assam are the worst affected. Of the 30,000-odd rural habitations where drinking water is affected by either of these contaminants, over 20,000 are in West Bengal and Assam.
West Bengal has the highest number of rural habitations affected by arsenic contamination, at 6,207, followed by Assam (4,125), Bihar (804), Punjab (651) and Uttar Pradesh (650). Assam has the highest number of rural habitations affected by iron contamination, at 5,113. It is followed by West Bengal (5,082), Tripura (2,377), Bihar (2,299) and Odisha (2,100)
States and UTs that are not affected by any of these contaminants include Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim and Tamil Nadu.
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