Heavy metal content: Groundwater in every fourth Punjab village found unfit for drinking
Punjab CM Capt Amarinder’s ancestral village Mehraj in Bathinda also in list; work begins to provide canal water to 700 villages.punjab Updated: Apr 18, 2018 09:22 IST
Groundwater in 3,067 of a total of 13,000 villages in Punjab has been found unfit for drinking due to heavy metal content, with chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s ancestral village in Bathinda appearing in the list.
Of the villages where groundwater was found unfit for consumption, nearly 700 will get canal water for drinking soon.
- Fluoride: Patiala and Fatehgarh Sahib districts
- Arsenic: Gurdaspur district
- Chromium: Moga district
With the CM’s ancestral village, Mehraj, testing negative a fortnight ago, the official machinery has sprung into action, expediting the process for water supply projects. But Mehraj will be connected with the water supply project with the remaining 600 villages at a later stage.
Officials in the water supply and sanitation department said the cause of worry for the CM was heavy metals (traces of arsenic) found as deep as 1,000 feet in these villages, including Mehraj, which have been put in the critical list,
In the first phase, 85 villages in Moga district, 45 in Nurpur Bedi belt of Rupnagar, 316 in Patiala, 93 in Fatehgarh Sahib and 165 villages in Gurdaspur district will be supplied canal water for drinking. While the Upper Bahri Doab Canal will cover Gurdaspur villages, the Bhakra mainline will supply water to Patiala and Fatehgarh Sahib, and its Bathinda branch will cover Moga district.
In the Nurpur belt, work is in progress while work is expected to complete by September in Moga district.
“We have arranged Rs 2,200 crore from different sources for this project. All the affected villages will get a permanent solution and purified water is being supplied there currently,” said minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, who holds charge of the water supply and sanitation department. The department has begun quarterly monitoring of water quality making the results public on department website, the minister said.
Other than central allocations, the state government has raised funds from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) and the World Bank.