Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Punjab government to submit a detailed report within a week about the effectiveness of Reverse Osmosis (RO) system plants to filter out uranium content from the groundwater in Mansa, Bathinda, Faridkot and Ferozepur districts.
A division bench comprising acting chief justice MM Kumar and justice Alok Singh issued the directions during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation filed by advocate BS Loomba to seek effective steps to check uranium content in Punjab groundwater.
The presence of uranium in groundwater is said to be one of the main causes of cancer among residents in Malwa belt of Punjab.
The state was directed that the report should be submitted by an officer not below the rank of secretary water supply and sewerage board. In case the state failed to submit the report, the high court said, it would ask lawyers from Mansa, Bathinda, Faridkot and Ferozepur for their reports.
The bench also directed the state to inform whether the RO plants installed in various parts of the state were filtering water as per the permissible limits and whether they were catering to the entire area or only select areas.
Loomba informed the bench that since 1977 there was no mechanism to check the flow of uranium in the form of ash from Bathinda thermal power plant and that probably uranium was getting back into the groundwater. On this, the bench also issued direction to the state to inform what steps had been taken to check the same and also measures adopted for disposal of uranium.
The case would now come up for hearing on May 24.