Saline river water of Sunderbans to turn sweet
The Sunderbans along with parts of south and north 24 Parganas have always had the problem of safe drinking water. In recent years, the quality of water has worsened due to arsenic poisoning of the ground water tube wells, rendering them unsafe for drinking. Not just that, major rivers of the area such as Bidyadhari, Ichhamati, Raimangal, all meet the sea in this region. As a result, more than 40 per cent of their water content is saline. Hence unlike Kolkata or other districts of Bengal, taking up water directly from the rivers such as Ganga and processing them to supply drinking water is not possible in Sunderbans.
Keeping this in mind, the state government has imported machines from Israel and Germany that will help to convert saline water of both rivers and lakes into sweet water, safe for drinking. Almost 108 crores has been sanctioned for this project that will try to supply this sweet water even to remote villages, where the motors will run on solar power. The project is coming up at Hasnabad. The pilot project on a smaller scale has already started in lakes and ponds of Sunderbans. One such is Charalkhali of Hingalgunj, where the project has been implemented on a smaller scale to observe the results on pond water.