Traces of uranium and other radioactive, heavy metals have been found in the groundwater in Punjab, the Government has said.

The Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Jairam Ramesh, said a study conducted by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, has found traces of uranium and other radioactive, heavy metals in the State’s groundwater.

Though the Lok Sabha did not meet on Thursday, Ramesh said in a written reply that in the year 2009, Guru Nanak Dev University analysed nearly 100 groundwater samples of 22 villages in Bhatinda district in Punjab and found traces of uranium.

Subsequently, the State Department of Water Supply and Sanitation has so far sent 2,000 drinking water samples from deep public tubewells and hand-pumps to BARC, Mumbai for analysis.

“Of these, reports for 1,686 water samples have been traced, of which 261 samples show uranium concentration above the permissible limits of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB),” the Minister said in his written reply.

(This article was published on August 16, 2012)
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