Set up panel to probe water toxicity : Scientist

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Old 03-Jul-2010
Set up panel to probe water toxicity : Scientist

Jalandhar, July 2

While the PPCC general secretary Ram Pal Daipai has written to all MLAs and MPs, irrespective of their party affiliations, to make a collective effort to check the spread of cancer in the state, a nuclear physicist, Dr Hardev Singh Virk, has urged the state government to set up a high-level commission to find out the level of uranium, pesticides and other toxic elements in the underground water used for drinking and soil.

Daipai said cancer, which had become a major killer in most parts of the state especially in the Mansa-Bathinda-Faridkot region of the Malwa area, was spreading fast to new areas. He said all MLAs and MPs should pool their political and other resources to save people from the cancer menace.

He said he would soon meet the Union Environment Minister, Jai Ram Ramesh, to request him to help the state to bring down the level of toxic pollutants said to be causing cancer and other deadly diseases.

Dr Virk said it was surprising that doctors in institutions such as the PGI and state health services were maintaining silence on the issue of cancer and uranium, etc in the state. “They should have by now pressed the government authorities to set up a some sort of a commission for a detailed scientific study of Punjab’s environment to check the level of toxic elements in its soil, underground and river waters, etc,” he said.

He said silence of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission authorities, which had state-of-the-art labs and equipment to study the presence of uranium in the state, was also intriguing. The commission must find uranium’s source in the state, he added.

Dr Virk said the commission should include nuclear experts, epidemiologists, geologists, hydrologists, water analysts and other experts. He said the issue of toxic metals and chemicals, which had started affecting people in a big way, could not be swept under the carpet.

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