Toxic water is proving to be an increasing mece in Assam. Experts have opined that consumption of water hit by poisonous elements is posing a serious health hazard in the State. These elements could be anything from fluoride to arsenic. The extent of the threat came to light on Tuesday as experts in the field deliberated at a symposium organized by the Senior Engineers Forum in Guwahati. It will be recalled that it was revealed in the Lok Sabha recently that about 65 per cent of Assam’s population are drinking contamited water, especially the kind rich in arsenic. According to an expert, Guwahati has high fluoride content in the drinking water supplied by the State government’s very own department – Public Health Engineering – and excess of fluoride can affect children severely, sometimes even crippling them forever. So what is this department of the Assam government called Public Health Engineering up to? It is ridiculous that a department that calls itself dedicated to the cause of engineering of public health should so badly fail the public that it is feeding people with water that is not fit for human consumption at all. In other words, it is killing people! This is a terrible crime in a democracy where the public elects its representatives to legislative bodies to save people, not kill them with water terror. But this is what is precisely happening in Assam. The Sarbanda Sonowal regime, elected to power on the strength of its promise to save people from terror of different kinds, would do well to wake up to the grim situation sooner rather than later. We have had enough of terror of different shades. We cannot have another new monstrous form of it.