The Congress alleged on Sunday that people of Bihar were made to drink contaminated water in Nitish Kumar’s regime, and the cities and towns in the state turned into garbage dumps.
Congress national general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala said not only the water has turned impure but also there is corruption in government schemes related to it.
Besides, people are forced to live in cities filled with garbage, he claimed.
To drive home his point, Surjewala adressed the press conference on the road in front of Patna GPO, located in the heart of the city.
“Right behind me is the land where a beautiful complex was to be built but it is now being used to dump garbage. If this is the situation of the state capital, we can imagine the deplorable condition of other towns and cities of the state,” he told reporters.
Congress national spokesperson Pawan Khera, party MLC Prem Chandra Mishra and state Congress spokesperson Rajesh Rathor were also present at the press meet.
Referring to Centre’s ‘Swachhata Survekshan 2020’, the Congress leader said that Patna ranked at the bottom in the list of 47 cities with over 10 lakh population.
Of the 382 towns and cities having a population between 1 to 10 lakh, Bihar’s 26 towns were among the dirtiest, Surjewala said.
The holy city of Gaya was ranked 382, he added.
Even Danapur Cantonment was found to be the dirtiest among 62 cantonment areas in the country, he said.
The Congress leader said that after seeing the situation of waste management in the state, the National Green Tribunal last year described it as that of “emergency”.
The NGT also expressed grave concern over the air quality index of Bihar as Patna was the third most polluted city in the country.
The tribunal also took note of the level of arsenic in the water in the state, he said.
Surjewala said that only 3.36 lakh households of the total 1.78 crore have got piped drinking water in the state.
The water in Bihar’s most districts have either been affected by arsenic or fluoride or uranium, he said, quoting a Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation data.
Ten districts are affected by fluoride while 11 districts are affected by arsenic, he said.
As per a report prepared by the Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS), all the 10 samples of drinking water collected by it has failed the test and were not fit for drinking, he said.