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Act quickly on uranium poisoning in Punjab, House panel tells Centre

New Delhi, September 4
Expressing concern over the presence of uranium in drinking water in Punjab, a Parliamentary panel has asked the Centre to take remedial measures "without any loss of time" after it received a BARC report on the matter.

The Standing Committee on Rural Development, chaired by Sumitra Mahajan, also asked the government to give a "clear cut mandate" to the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre to submit its report in a "highly time-bound manner".

Noting that uranium contamination has been reported in two districts of Punjab, the panel said, "This is a very serious situation warranting action on top priority basis.

"Uranium, being a radioactive substance, can cause incalculable damage to the health of human beings, livestock, environment and bio-safety," said the 19th report on demands for grants of the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

"In their initial assessment, the BARC has opined that there might be uranium contamination," the panel noted in its report tabled in Parliament during its current session.

The Department had, thereafter, sanctioned Rs 3.5 crore to BARC to conduct a 100 per cent survey of the entire state, it said.

"The department intends to follow a similar policy for other places having similar problems. The committee feels that this is a very serious situation warranting action on top priority basis," it said. PTI 

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