Public Health and Engineering Department Minister Chandra Mohan Rai has said that high levels of arsenic and fluoride have been found in the groundwater of 22 Bihar districts, posing environmental and health hazards.
Rai told the assembly that 5,747 villages were affected. "The government has initiated moves to provide drinking water free of arsenic and fluoride in all the affected villages."
Arsenic causes diseases like cancer of intestines, liver, kidneys and the bladder as well as gangrene.
An official said the worst-affected districts were Bhojpur, Buxar, Vaishali, Bhagalpur, Samastipur, Khagaria, Katihar, Chapra, Munger and Darbhanga.