Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP) is planning to educate around 1 lakh people in Karnataka about the use of clean drinking water, according to LH Manjunath, Executive Director of SKDRDP.

Due to environmental pollution and an increase in population, it has become difficult to provide clean drinking water to people, both in urban and rural areas, in recent days, he said, adding, that people in many villages across the state still rely on lakes and wells for bathing animals, washing clothes and for drinking purpose.

Manjunath said drinking water in 60 per cent of the areas in Karnataka contains more fluoride than the stipulated quantity, along with 20 per cent more nitrate, and 30 per cent of micro-organisms. Following this, many people in these areas are suffering from various diseases.

The fluoride problem is more common in Belagavi, Bidar, Vijayapura, Chitradurga, Davanagere, Dharwad, Kalaburagi, Hassan, Haveri, Gadag, Kolar, Tumkur, Koppal, Chikkamagaluru and Chikballapur districts of the state.

After listening to the drinking-water-related problems of devotees from different parts of the state, D Veerendra Heggade, Dharmadhikari of Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala and President of SKDRDP, established the first community drinking water plant in Kadur taluk of Chikkamagaluru district in 2009.

Manjunath said SKDRDP has set up 437 clean drinking water plants across the state under the name ‘Shudha Ganga’ till now. Around 5.02 lakh people are using clean drinking water every day through these plants. Around 20 lakh litres of clean drinking water is being provided through these clean drinking water plants every day, he added.

Stating that there is a lack of awareness among many people about the use of clean drinking water, he said, SKDRDP will organise an awareness campaign in places where ‘Shudha Ganga’ units are located during January. More than 500 awareness programmes are being planned during January, he added.