B'putra water has high lead, arsenic contents!
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, July 26: Studies by Assam Engineering College (AEC) and IIT-Guwahati have proved the fact that the water of the Brahmaputra has poisonous lead and arsenic contents.
Not the water of the Brahmaputra alone, lead contents have been detected in the waters being supplied by the PHE, Jal Board and the GMC in Guwahati.
According to experts, lead contents in water lead to complications in the functioning of the brain, besides creating neurological problems, especially for children.
Priyanka Kataki Duarah, a postgraduate student of AEC, did a study of water under the guidance of Prof. Vikash Sarma that revealed the presence of lead and arsenic in the water of the Brahmaputra and the water being supplied in Guwahati. It came to the notice of the PHE Retired Engineers’ Forum (PREF) office-bearers in March this year. The PREF requested Priyanka and her guide to recheck their findings. When the study was reran, the water level of the Brahmaputra rose in April, leading to indication of higher contamition of lead (above permissible limit) but lower contamition of arsenic. The PREF then requested all agencies involved in water supply to take preventive measures in this regard.
Jal Board, on the other hand, sent samples of water to IIT-Guwahati. The study conducted by IIT-Guwahati also found the lead content in the waters of the river and waters being supplied in the city above the permissible limits. This led the PREF to send letters to the GMC and the Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA) for taking preventive measures. According to PREF, lead is such an element of which it is not possible to get rid even when water is boiled. This has posed a question for the water supply projects in pipeline in the city and the State. Experts and top officials from IIT-Guwahati, AEC, GMCH, various institutions, PCBA, GMC, PREF and others deliberated on the issue of water quality in the city on Wednesday at a consultative meeting. According to WHO norms, the quality of water should be tested at every point from the sources to the spots of intake. The meeting took some resolutions to submit them to the government.