Cancer patients rising due to drinking arsenic-rich water in Bihar villages



PATNA (Bihar): Cancer patients in Bihar are increasing as people are drinking arsenic-rich water in the villages situated on the banks of the Ganga.

The number of cancer patients is increasing rapidly across the country. Talking about Bihar, one patient is dying every five to eight minutes. On the other hand, Bihar is also the fourth largest state in the country when it comes to cancer cases.

Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and West Bengal are the four states which are receiving more than one lakh cancer cases annually. Cancer deaths are also highest in these states. In the year 2022, Bihar ranked fourth among the states in terms of deaths.

One reason for increasing cancer cases in Bihar is said to be the consumption of arsenic-rich water in the villages situated on the banks of the Ganges.

More than 200 people have been suffering from cancer in the last 10 years in many panchayats of Maner, adjacent to Patna, the capital of Bihar.

Many people in this village have lost their lives due to this terrible disease. People of this entire area are forced to drink arsenic-rich water. The people of the area said that they have been drinking this water for years. Due to boring at a low level, the amount of arsenic in the water is high.

People alleged that corruption takes place due to the connivance of government employees.

The head of the village, Shailesh Kumar told that his parents also died of cancer because of this water.

There are hundreds of families in the entire village who have cancer patients in their homes. No effort is being made by the government to eliminate arsenic from the water here.

The colour of the water coming out of the ground was red and yellow. People here are forced to drink this kind of water.

Many cancer patients in the village said that the reason for this is the water available in the village. These people are getting their treatment done. But there are many other such patients in the village who have more serious diseases. These are diseases related to the kidneys, skin diseases and liver. Due to poverty, these people are unable to get their treatment done properly, and due to this the possibility of their death increases.

On this matter, the SDM of the area, Pradeep Singh said that he got information about this through newspapers.

“It has always been our endeavour that people get a pure environment to live in. Schemes like Jal Jeevan Hariyali should be implemented properly on the ground. We have received complaints about this. We will get it investigated by the block officer and first aid officer. Monitoring of such cases is done at the district level. If someone comes and meets us or gives a complaint in writing, then we will definitely get it investigated,” he added.

On the other hand, the state’s Deputy CM and Health Minister Tejashwi Yadav said, “our government is serious about this matter. We are working on cancer treatment with Tata Memorial Hospital. We are providing this service in six medical colleges in the state. We are going to provide the cancer drug morphine and testing facilities for early-stage detection in 38 districts of the state.”

Dr Ravi Kant, who is the Officer-in-Charge of Homi J Bhabha Cancer Institute, said that every year about 1.5 lakh cancer patients are found in Bihar. He said that the biggest reason is tobacco.

Regarding arsenic in Bihar, he said that it is not present in the whole of Bihar.

“We cannot tell about the whole of Bihar. It was found in some places of Bihar where it is getting patients for generations. Apart from Bihar, cancer patients are found in Bengal because of arsenic. Such cases are more in Muzaffarpur, Buxar, Bettiah of Bihar, but for the data of the entire Bihar, we need to prepare a population-based cancer report.”

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