Media reports indicate that the contamination of drinking water is becoming a major cause of worry for residents in Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur city. In recent times there has been a dramatic increase in the spread of waterborne diseases.
Residents of the city complain of poor water quality that has lately been causing a rise in cases of people suffering from waterborne diseases.
Jitendra Dwivedi, a resident told reporters their only resort to make water safe for drinking is boil and filter it.
"The water here is completely polluted and is no longer potable. We drink water only after filtering it. If you keep water in a bucket or jug then after a while it becomes yellow in colour and leaves a mark on the vessel. The water can not be consumed and the quality is extremely poor," said.
Tired of registering their problems repeatedly with local municipal and water board authorities, residents have now given up all hope of any respite.
Clogged drains and open sewers near residential areas are a common sight in the city.
Environmentalists have time and again raised their worries over the rapid increase in cases of water borne diseases, such as encephalitis, jaundice and typhoid top the list.
"There is striking increase in the number of patients suffering from encephalitis cause of which has been narrowed down to consumption of polluted water. As per reports of medical colleges around 16 to 20 per cent of the people who are suffering from the disease had consumed contaminated water. The situation is just getting worse," said Shiraj Wazi, head of Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group.
According to environment experts, the content of Fluoride and Iron, other than organic pollution is extremely high in the ground water paving way for different deadly diseases mainly affecting the poor that live in dismal sanitation conditions.
As per some fresh reports Arsenic has also been found in water extracted through shallow hand pumps in different parts of the area.
"Mostly ground water used for drinking water. River water is not used for consumption, so the upper strata of groundwater are completely polluted due to pollutants in the lower levels. Hence this is the main reason for spreading of water borne diseases in northern Uttar Pradesh," said S.S Verma, professor, Gorakhpur University.
The city is plagued with an unplanned sewage system that has lead to mixing of pollutants with the ground water the main source of potable water, as cited by experts.
The release of sewage and industrial effluents, apart from cremations in water bodies cause massive pollution of the river and ground water, leading to further depletion of ecosystem.