Major cause of concern – Uranium in Punjab waters is 12 times more than safe limit
Published: August 23, 2012
Chandigarh/New Delhi, India (August 23, 2012): According to a news report published by Hindustan Times (HT) the minister of state for water resources Vincent H. Pala today (August 23, 2012) informed Lok sabha that people in several districts of Punjab were dangerously exposed to deadly effects of uranium through its presence in groundwater.
“The contamination of ground water by uranium has been reported from pockets of Barnala, Bhatinda, Faridkot, Ferozpur, Ludhiana, Moga and Sangrur districts, the minister is said to have told in a written reply.
Concentration of uranium was more than 12 times of the permissible limit of 15 micrograms/litre in 26 samples out of 1,686 collected by the water supply and sanitation department, Pala is reported to have told Lok Sabha by HT.
“He, however, expressed ignorance about any case of death due to water contamination” news report adds.
The minister further told that the Punjab government was in the process of installing Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants in areas affected with the contamination.
There are reports that there is no planning to treat the RO water waste and Punjab Government is re-injecting contaminated discharge from RO systems into sub-soil water. But according to some other reports the RO systems’ discharge is dumped into the open or village drains connected to ponds-the government method for managing low-impurity waste.
According to Gurbir Singh Dhillon, former Chief Irrigation Engineer of Punjab both methods are dangerous, but discharging into the open is most dangerous.