Chandigarh: Use of fertilisers has no direct link with the presence of uranium in the underground water in Punjab, a top nuclear official said.

"The usage of fertilisers has no direct link with the presence of uranium in the underground water of Punjab as the Geological studies have revealed that this part of Himalayan Region had granite rocks in the sub-soil, which is the perceptible cause of heavy concentration of Uranium,"
Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy, and Chairman Atomic
Energy Commission (AEC) R K Sinha said here.

Sinha was here to hold a meeting with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to discuss drinking water issues and water purification technology in the state.

He said uranium is also present in neighbouring states of Haryana especially in Hisar belt and Himachal Pradesh to some extent.

Out of 1,642 water samples taken from Punjab, 1,140 samples were found positive for the radioactive metal, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh had said recently.

Water contaminated with uranium was found mainly in Mansa, Bathinda, Moga, Faridkot, Barnala, Sangrur and some parts of
Ludhiana as well.

Ramesh had said that there was one estimation which says that phosphatic fertilizers could cause uranium in water, though it needed to be tested scientifically.

Sinha said that the Department of Atomic energy through Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) had already signed a MoU with the Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) Amritsar for the analysis of water in the state.

(Agencies)

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