There are no reports received in the ministry of drinking water and sanitation about uranium contamination in drinking water sources from states or the Union Territories, the Lok Sabha was informed on Thursday.
In a written reply, minister of state (Independent Charge) for Drinking Water and Sanitation Bharatsinh Solanki said, "As reported by government of Punjab, out of 1,686 samples tested by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), 261 samples have exceeded the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) limit of 60 micrograms per litre for uranium in drinking water sources but there are no reports received in the ministry, so far."
He said that the ministry provides financial and technical assistance under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme(NRDWP) to supplement the efforts of the states for supplying drinking water through schemes like hand pumps and piped water supply schemes from safe sources and also towards cost of treatment units to remove uranium from drinking water in rural areas.
Punjab has been allocated Rs 90.33 crore in 2012-13 under NRDWP of which Rs 83.49 crore has been released, so far, he said.
The Centre has decided to provide assistance to the Punjab government to set up an advanced testing laboratory for uranium and heavy metals in SAS Nagar, Mohali for intensive monitoring, he added.