Deadly levels of content into ground water have been detected beyond the Malwa region in addition to the Doaba and Majha regions, according to a recent report of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).
The samples were taken from 5,659 villages from a depth range of 200-500 ft. 1,007 of the smaples were found to have uranium content above the permissible limit set by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB).
According to AERB 60 micrograms of uranium per litre of drinking water is permissible whereas the World Health Organisation has pegged the quantity at 30 microgram (one microgram is one-thousandth of a milligram).
When the limit of 15 microgram is breached, consumers become susceptible to cancer, skin diseases and genetic disorders.
An official with the water supply and sanitation department said that efforts are on to trace the source of contamination. According to him the uranium in the affected areas may be due to geological formations. However, studies are being carried out to trace the source.
These Doaba and Majha regions include the Jalandhar, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr), Kapurthala, Gurdaspur, Amritsar, TaranTarn and Roop Nagar districts among others.
Several districts of Malwa region including Moga, Muktsar, Ferozepur, Fazilka, Bathinda, Patiala, Sangrur, Mansa and Ludhiana have also been listed in the report, a copy of which is with HT.
This is first time that such high levels of Uranium have been found in the groundwater of these regions.
The official added that reverse osmosis (RO) -- a filtration method that removes impurities from solutions by applying pressure - can be used as a precaution.
In the Jalandhar district, six villages of Bhogpur block -- Bahopur, Dara Pur, Darawan Kala Bakra, Dhurial, Talwandi Abdar and Jakopur Khurd - along with Kang Kalan in Lohian block, Jakopur Khurd in Noormahal block and Mullewal Brahmna in Shahkot block have been affected. In Kapurthala, Farid Rai village in Sultanpur Lodhi has been named in report.
In Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr), the six villages have been named including Bharta Kalan, Mahal Kherabad in Aur block and Diyal, Jhandhupur, Kukar Shula and Mehitpur villages of Saroya block.
While, Dhamoi, Panam villages in Garhshankar block, Talwandi Kanogoan in Hoshiarpur-I block and Jaijon in Mehatpur block of Hoshiarpur district have also been shown affected high content of uranium.
In Majha region, Kotla Sultan Singh village in Majitha block of Amritsar district, Kalu Sohal, Kotli Harchanda in Kahnuwan block and Leel Kalan village in Qadian block of Gurdaspur district have also fallen in category of uranium affected areas.
In Taran Taran district, villages include Nushera, Darapur, Sangar Kalan, Verowal, Chambal, Chowdhriwal, Dhotian (Old), Nandpur Khedda, Bopa Rai, Kacha Pakka and Nanadpur also found affected with uranium.
Mallah, Mandiani, Manuke, New Dalla, Chowkiman, Dalla, Dangian, Chachrari, Chakkar Chemma, Bhamipur villages in Jagroan block, Dehlon, Lehel, Gopalpur, Mirpur, Ramgarh Sardaran villages in Dehlon block, Aretcha, Begowal in Doraha block, Burj Pawar, Burma Hadia, Ghali Wal Bondli, Sukewal, Akalgarh, Nurpur, Nurpur Tandi, Serian, Tanhur in Machhiwara block in Ludhiana district, are shown affected with uranium.
As per report, most of villages in Malwa region districts' Baranla, Moga, Bathinda, Patiala, Sangrur, Bathinda, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Roop Nagar, have also crossed the permissible limit of uranium content in groundwater set by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board in the country.