Bankura Project

Command Area Map - I

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Nature has played several tricks with Bankura. It is largely dry, rocky and forested district. However, through the ages, people have settled and lived here. They fought the harsh realities and won them over; except for one – fluoride, the poison in the water.

Severe contamination

Fluoride contamination in ground water haunts life in 17 out of 22 blocks of the district.

According to an earlier Central Ground Water Board study, high concentration of fluoride in ground water was a serious problem here in Taldangra, Simlapal, Raipur, Mejia, Bankura II, Saltora, Barjora, Hirabandh, Chhatna and Gangajalghati blocks.

However, in recently updated PHED data surveys seven more blocks were found to have unsafe fluoride levels, alarmingly higher than permissible limit of 1.5 mg/l, in their respective underground aquifers, affecting life in a total of 296 habitations. The average household size in the district is 4.7.

Simlipal, the worst-hit, recorded whooping 9.8 mg/ l in tube well water samples, Sonamukhi witnessed 9 mg/l, Chhatna 8.12 mg/l and the rest had a fluoride contamination range between 1.92 and 7 mg/ l.

Infrastructure constructed and updated in Bankura

Command Area Map - II

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This Sub-Project of the West Bengal Drinking Water Sector Improvement Project (WBDWSIP), a 70 percent ADB funded live project, will benefit an estimated 0.67 million people in the fluoride-affected blocks in Mejhia, Gangajalghati, Indpur and Taldangra in Bankura district.

Key components of the sub-project are:

1) Construction of infiltration gallery of capacity 33 million litres a day (MLD) for Mejhia and Gangajalghati blocks.

2) Construction of an intake and water treatment plant (WTP) of 32 MLD on Mukutmanipur dam for Indpur and Taldangra blocks. Construction of new storage facilities of 38 million litres.

3) Laying of around 310 KM of transmission mains and around 2100 KM of distribution network; and

4) Provisions of around 0.155million or1,55,000 households and associated smart water management devices.

Source options

Earlier, while framing up the Development of Sustainable Water Supply Schemes in Bankura and outlining the comprehensive coverage of Piped Water Supply Project as a part of the West Bengal Water Supply Improvement Investment Programme, PHED took a pragmatic and flexible view on choosing operative options.

In absence of reliable and sustainable ground water coupled with relative social and backwardness of the local people, the Bankura Sub-Project has been shaped up to arrest any public health disaster in the making and explored more surface water source options for block-level intervention strategies.

For example, Damodar and Kangsabati Dams or sub-surface (river bed) extraction plans ran parallel to sourcing from other water bodies.

In case of Taldangra and Indupur, ground water was ruled out considering the contamination levels and low availability. None of the identified 17 blocks generated PHED’s confidence for hosting a large-scale ground water extraction plan.

The Water Quality Action Plan outlined the contours of the Sub-Project, which the Sub-Project is broadly following.