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Punjab

Posted at: Jun 18, 2015, 1:14 AM; last updated: Jun 18, 2015, 12:54 AM (IST)

High level of aluminium found in water samples

Can cause dementia and other neurological problems

Arsenic, lead also detected

  • High level of arsenic was found in 34 per cent of water samples in Amritsar, 19 per cent in Gurdaspur and 16 per cent in Taran Tarn
  • Lead was also found in high quantity in 12 per cent of the water samples in Jalandhar, 3 per cent in Gurdaspur and Kapurthala districts

Sarbjit Dhaliwal

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17

The toxic metal, aluminium, has been found more than the permissible limit in the drinking water samples tested by the government water quality testing labs and other approved institutions.

The problem related to aluminium is more pronounced in case of Amritsar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ludhiana, Sangrur districts. It was found to be more than the permissible limit in over 70 per cent of the drinking water samples. Aluminium can cause dementia and other neurological problems.

Uranium, chromium, cadmium have also been found in 1 per cent of the water samples. Uranium, chromium, cadmium and lead are also highly toxic substances and can cause serious health problems and damage the nervous system.

“We are seized of the matter. Sub-soil water is getting polluted at a faster pace now. We have decided to source drinking water from canal networks in the districts where the presence of toxic metals in sub-soil water is widespread. In areas where the problem is not that alarming, RO systems will be installed to remove toxic metals,” said Surjit Singh Rakhra, State Water Supply and Sanitation Minister.

Rakhra said drinking water would be supplied from the canal network in Moga and Barnala districts. He said it would cost Rs 300 crore. Moreover, RO systems were being installed in over 500 villages, he said.

Against the permissible limit of 0.01 mg per litre, arsenic was 0.06 mg/l in some of the samples drawn at Abusaid in Amritsar district. Same was the case at Anayatoura and Bhakha Hari Singh village in the district. Aluminium was above the permissible limit in most of the water samples in the district. In Dangarh village of Barnala district, alumnium was found in higher quantity in some of the water samples.

In Dhurkot village, high level of cadmium was found. High level of lead was also found in Bandala village of Ferozepur district, aluminium in Butewala and Roranswali villages in Ferozepur district.

This is the first time that aluminium has been traced in water samples to this extent first time. Arsenic, lead, uranium, mercury, chromium, etc. have been traced earlier too.

The state government has prepared a programme to provide 20 lakh drinking water connections free of cost to people in the rural areas in the next two years. Each connection will cost Rs 1,500. The project is being sponsored by World Bank.

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