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Drinking Water In Punjab Is A Cancer Cocktail

By Network on June 28, 2010

The Next time you reach for the glass of cold water near you this summer, be aware that this could well be a potent combination of heavy metals and fluoride and would do you more harm than good.

The state of affairs in Punjab have reached an alarming level with dedicated belts being supplied contaminated water have turned into cancer belts. The worst affected is the Malwa region with number of cancer patients increasing exponentially in the recent past. The underground pipes used to supply water have been slowly contaminating the water with harmful and potentially killer substances like lead and arsenic. Conservative estimates suggest that in the past 10 years; close to 1,000 people have died due to cancer in the Bathinda region alone. The disease is attributed to polluted groundwater. Tests conducted by government laboratories have shown that the content of total dissolved solids in Bathinda’s water is sometimes as high as 2,000 mg/litre. Medical opinion is unanimous that if the content is more than 500 mg/litre, the water is unsuitable for consumption even by animals. This high contamination is due to reckless use of fertilizers.

Because of lack of treatment in Bathinda, people have travel to a charitable cancer institute in Bikaner. They use Intercity Express between Bathinda and Sri Ganganagar. The large number of sick travelers has given the train a macabre sobriquet, the Cancer Express.

Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) scientists in a major breakthrough identify the reasons behind the rapid spread of cancer in the Punjab, arsenic in water is one of the major causes for abnormal cell growth in human body. Now, the scientists are working to develop a mechanism where they hope to bind the arsenic with nano-particles of iron oxide, thereby neutralizing or at least minimizing the harmful effects of arsenic.

In a recent development, water samples from both tube wells at the residence of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in his native Badal village here have been declared “unfit for human consumption” because of a high presence of fluoride. A report of two samples received today from the Chandigarh-based state Public Health Laboratory says: “Both samples contain a high excess of fluoride and are therefore not potable”. The report ruled out the presence of heavy metals in the water samples.

Ironically Chief minister’s wife, Surinder Kaur Badal, is in the U.S. these days getting treated for Cancer in NY whereas a common man is at the mercy of God.

It has been learnt that the sample from one of the tube wells also showed a slight excess of total dissolved solids than desirable limits. The report, however, said both samples were bacteriologically safe on the basis of presumptive test for the presence of Coliform group of bacteria in drinking water.

Both water samples showed the absence of heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, copper, chromium and cyanide.

The Bathinda Civil Surgeon collected water samples from Badal’s residence on June 21 following the publication of a German laboratory’s report of the presence of uranium and other heavy metals in water in the Malwa region.

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