Govt says ground water in 16 states is contaminated with uranium

Govt says ground water in 16 states is contaminated with uranium

Agency News

New Delhi, Aug 6: Sixteen states in the country have high uranium content in ground water which is above the World Health Organisation prescribed norms, Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Arjun Ram Meghwal told the Rajya Sabha here on Monday.

Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour, he told members that as per the report titled “Large Scale Uranium Contamination of Groundwater Resources in India” published in ‘Environmental Science and Technology Letters, 2018’, 16 states have uranium content which is higher than the WHO provisional guideline value of 30 micrograms of uranium per liter.

Mr Meghwal said the Indian Standard IS-10500: 2012 for Drinking Water specification has specified requirements for radioactive residues as alpha and beta emitters. These requirements take into account all radioactive elements, including uranium.

'No individual radioactive parameters have been specifically identified in India,' he added.

He said according to National Uranium Project, 2014, under the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, out of 10,000 samples studied, 2 per cent samples had uranium content over the WHO specified norms.

Among the 16 states are Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Telangana and Gujarat.

In answer to a specific question on Rajasthan, the Minister said of 236 wells, 75 well were found to have uranium content more than WHO prescribed norms.

As per this report 75 wells out of 226 wells analysed in Rajasthan have been reported to exceed the WHO provisional health guideline value for Uranium.

To another query, the Minister said water was a state subject while Centre provides technical and financial assistance.

'However, on the issueof non-utilisation and monitoring of projects raised by members, the Centre will probe and place its findings before the House,' he said. (UNI)