Uranium contamination in Punjab: Parliament panel slams Centre
A Parliamentary panel has slammed the Centre for not showing "desired level of urgency and seriousness" on the issue of reported detection of uranium contamination in the drinking water in rural areas of Punjab.chandigarh Updated: May 03, 2012 18:51 IST
A Parliamentary panel has slammed the Centre for not showing "desired level of urgency and seriousness" on the issue of reported detection of uranium contamination in the drinking water in rural areas of Punjab.
The standing committee on rural development noted that the panel in its previous report had expressed concern over the issue and strongly recommended to the ministry of drinking water and sanitation to give a clear-cut mandate to Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) to give its views in a highly time-bound manner and take remedial measures without loss of time.
The panel, chaired by Sumitra Mahajan, said the committee "is constrained to mention that on the entire issue of taking remedial measures to curb the serious problem of uranium contamination, the ministry has not shown the desired level of urgency and seriousness".
The committee said it was "astonished" to hear from the secretary of the ministry that BARC is not capacitated to do 100% testing and, therefore, they are now working on training the people of Punjab and also getting their laboratories equipped in a way that they can test this sort of contamination.
Strongly recommending that the ministry should intervene on "this highly sensitive issue", the committee said that if the issue remained unabated it "may cause incalculable damage to the health of human beings, livestock, environment and bio-safety".
The committee also said that it expects "the ministry to work with the government of Punjab in set timelines and apprise them of the progress made in containing this hazard.