Two months after samples of ground water were collected from 10 locations for testing presence of heavy metals and pesticides and sent to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the samples have come out clean of their presence.
Surprisingly, while Ludhiana is counted among world’s most polluted city, the ground water in this industrial hub of Punjab has escaped contamination by heavy metals, though it was found to have pollutants.
The survey was conducted in wake of rising number of cancer cases in southern parts of Punjab.
The rise in cases has been attributed to presence of pesticides and heavy metals in the ground water.
Therefore, a project to test underground water was initiated under the National Water Quality Monitoring Programme to determine the presence of heavy metals in underground water that was depleting fast due to high usage.
Consequently, the Ludhiana office of Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) collected samples from 10 locations and sent them to the PPCB head office in Patiala that further forwarded the samples to the CPCB.
However, suspected metals, including nickel, copper, chromium, cadmium and lead, and pesticides, such as Alpha BHC, Beta BHC, Gama BHC (Lindane), OP DDT, Alpha Endosulphan, Beta Endosulphan, Dieldrin, Carboryl (Carbamete), Aldrin, Anilophos and Chloropyriphos, were not found in the samples.
Gulshan Rai, chief environmental engineer of PPCB, said the techniques used by the CPCB laboratory were highly advanced and could not be wrong. “Therefore, the test result is a positive development for a polluted city like Ludhiana where the water is at least safe from heavy metals and pesticides,” said Rai.
Meanwhile, samples would be collected from the same locations twice a year and sent to the CPCB.
Chosen locations for samples
Teja Singh Swatantra Memorial School Shimlapuri, Ludhiana.
Handpump/shallow tubewell on Sua Road near Dhandari Kalan.
Handpump/shallow tubewell in Janta Nagar.
Near Hero Cycle Ltd (adjacent Petrol Pump).
Dussehra Ground, Industrial Estate, near Seth Industrial Corp public tubewell.
Dashmesh Nagar Gali number 12, gurdwara, Ludhiana.
Dairy Complex, Tajpur Road, opposite Satish Dairy near Amrit Dharam Kanda.
Bhagwan Singh Dashmesh Nagar.
Haibowal Dairy Complex near Jagga de Dairy.
PAU research fields.