New Delhi, March 7: Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti has underlined the need to make people aware about the negative impact of Arsenic in Ganga basin area.
Addressing a workshop on Arsenic problem in ground water and its remediation in Ganga Basin organized by Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) today the Minister said that her Ministry will prepare an exhaustive work plan to meet the challenges posed by presence of arsenic in ground water on the basis of the outcome of this workshop. Bharti said there is an urgent need to start a nationwide movement to make people aware about the arsenic problem. She said everyone right from an individual to government including social organizations and NGOs has to join hand to make this movement a success.
The Minister said tapping alternate safe aquifers, for supply of arsenic free groundwater has been explored in many areas on a local scale; however, this approach would require extensive studies and analysis for mapping of groundwater availability, freshwater reserves and to examine mobilization of arsenic in the aquifer, both on spatial and temporal scale, due to forcing perturbation.She said “Under the National Aquifer mapping programme (NAQUIM) of CGWB special attention has been given to this aspect and water wells have been constructed tapping arsenic free aquifers using state of the art technology in parts of Ballia and Ghazipur districts of Uttar Pradesh”. Sushri Bharti said the present state of affairs of the growing arsenic occurrences demands a systematic translation of success stories of one place/region to another and formulating a comprehensive plan to mitigate the arsenic problem through a wider consultation process.
Meanwhile, the day long workshop was attended by about 300 experts including eminent scientists from all over the country. 23 selected papers have been included in the workshop volume out of which seven were presented in the workshop apart from a panel discussion among the eminent subject experts.
Arsenic in ground water is a geogenic contaminant i.e. caused by natural geologic processes. Arsenic-containing groundwater in Ganga River basin is hosted by the sediments deposited by the rivers during the late Quaternary or Holocene age (<12 thousand years). Incidence of high arsenic in groundwater reported from various parts of the country, particularly in the Ganga- plains is a serious threat to the health of human being.