Big worry

The theme of World Environment Day, celebrated on June 5, was plastic pollution. While this is a major global environment concern, there are several other local issues that need immediate attention. In West Bengal, this is the groundwater crisis. According to the state Pollution Control Board, in more than half of the blocks of Bengal, the water level is falling by 20 centimetres a year on average. In tandem, arsenic and fluoride contamination is also increasing. In rural areas, drinking water supply is largely dependent on non-electrified tube wells. Many such tube wells have already failed, while many of them are yielding contaminated water, creating a drinking water crisis. The falling water table has also led to the drying up of many water bodies, with a serious impact on local flora, fauna and the ecology.

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