The Malwa belt continues to battle with the deadly uranium as the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has detected uranium in the groundwater at 57 villages of four blocks -- Dhuri, Malerkotla-1, Malerkotla-2 and Sherpur -- of this district.
In its report, the BARC has stated the presence of uranium in water. A total of 189 samples were taken of which the water of 132 villages was declared safe from uranium.
The World Health Organisation says 30 microgram (one microgram is one-thousandth of a milligram) of uranium per litre of drinking water is the permissible limit. But in this latest report, the uranium has been found above the tolerable level in these villages.
Uranium creates diseases like cancer and genetic problems among humans.
In Dhuri block, the water at Banganwali, Bararwal, Benra, Bhojowali, Bhuller Heri, Daulatpur, Dhura, Dohla, Harchandpur, Hasanpur, Kandhargarh, Kanjla, Kanjli, Kheru, Ladda, Manna, Meerheri, Mimsan, Natt, Palasaur, Punawal and Rajjo Majra villages has failed the tests.
In Malerkotla-1 and 2 blocks, the water at Badshahpur, Chanunda, Dolwal, Hathan, Hathoa, Jalalgarh, Khanpur, Narike, Police quarters, Albelpura, Bhutan, Bir Imamgarh, Burj, Kup Kalan, Madeui, Manki, Mohali Khurd, Mubarakpur, Nau Dhrani and Qasba Bharal villages was affected.
The water samples of Malerkotla government college, police quarters and the court complex, Malerkotla, were also declared affected with uranium.
In Sherpur block, the water of 12 villages -- Alal, Badhi, Badshahpur, Dhandiwal, Ghanaur Khurd, Kala Bula, Kaleran, Mahmad Pur, Mulowal, Punnawal, Rangian and Wajidpur -- also failed the tests.
All 189 samples were taken from a depth of 400-500 ft.
An official said that after the report, the administration had recommended the installation of reverse osmosis systems in these villages. The official said the government had been sounded about the report and the process of installing ROs had been started.
Experts claimed that the government should go in for some other technique to decontaminate the water as the RO system could not neutralise the effect of uranium and other heavy metals.