Yadadri-Bhongir: There seems to be no end to the stalemate prevailing over setting up of a Regional Fluoride Mitigation Centre, which was proposed at Dandumalkapuram near Choutuppal mandal in the district. The Centre is yet to respond positively on the repeated representations made by the public representatives in this regard. Rumours are making rounds as the proposed centre was shifted to West Bengal, which is creating unrest among the fluoride victims in the district.
Earlier, during an interaction with fluorosis victims, the Union Minister for Health Jagat Prakash Nadda promised 300 bed hospital at Marriguda and also a Fluoride Research and Mitigation Centre near Choutuppal. The proposed Regional Fluoride Research Centre was aimed at mitigating fluoride and fluorosis burden through surveillance and monitoring of endemic regions together with diagnosis and research.
In 2012, Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation had proposed for setting up of a Regional Fluoride Mitigation Centre at Hyderabad by upgrading and strengthening the facilities available in National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad.
But, the NIN had proposed to set up a separate Centre outside NIN citing the space congestion. Thus the officials decided to set up the Centre at Malkapur in Choutuppal mandal in the district. The scientist of NIN Dr Arjun L Khandare was appointed as nodal officer to monitor all the works of the Centre including preparation of Detailed Project Report.
DPR submitted in 2014
In the Detailed Project Reports which was submitted to the Centre in 2014, it was proposed to set up a Regional Fluoride Mitigation Centre with Rs 100 crore to address the fluoride problem in 10 States including
Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orrisa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Assam. It was also proposed to develop a R&B Unit, 20-bed hospital, Mobile Health Van, social Science Unit and a Training Unit in the Regional Fluoride Mitigation Centre.
The R&B Units would consists of Reaserch Sub-Unit and Bio Informatics Units. The 20 bed hospital was meant for rehabilitation of fluoride patients and appointment of 16 staff including two doctors and a operation theater was planned. The 20 seated mobile health van was also proposed for fluoride mapping, oral health care and creating awareness among the people in endemic fluoride areas.
In addition to this, the proposed Social Science Unit with 18 members of staff would play active role in creating awareness in the present generation, motivating and behavior modification in the fluoride affected area. Speaking to Telangana Today, District Fluoride Monitoring Centre Coordinator Shanker Babu said that the district administration wrote a letter to NIN in October 2014 for handing over eight acres of land to it at Malkapur, but the
national institute didn’t respond to it.
No response from Centre
Dr Arjun L Khandare also wrote to Joint Secretary of Drinking water and Sanitation in June 2014 expressing dissatisfaction over the delay even after submitting the DPR. He had also broght to his notice that there was lot of pressure from the people of Telangana on the proposed Centre. At least, the centre would have been started in a rented building at Hyderabad. The delay over the Regional Fluoride Mitigation Centre is only giving scope for doubts over its commitment on the matter.