Now in Gujarat

Arsenic, 10-15 times above India's set standards

By Nidhi Jamwal
Published: Wednesday 31 August 2005

a high level of arsenic is present in treated industrial effluents in Gujarat's Golden Corridor belt, it was detected recently. Department of microbiology (dom), Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, says arsenic is getting mixed with the surface water in the area. dom plans further analysis in the coming months.

"We have analysed samples from Golden Corridor near Vadodara and Ankleshwar, and also Ahmedabad and Vatva, and found arsenic levels up to 150 microgrammes per litre (g/l), much above the acceptable 50 g/l," says dom head S R Dave. He is unaware that arsenic limit in India has been revised to 10 g/l
The dom study aims at remediation of arsenic from water/effluent and gold mine waste. The chemical was present in most collected samples, but its exact source couldn't be detected. "It is very difficult to collect...samples from inside the industry. Hence, we collected samples from as near the factories as possible. Most were from treated effluents flowing into water bodies. Some were from untreated effluents being discharged in surface water without the Gujarat Pollution Control Board's (gpcb's) knowledge...we have also sent samples to...Jadavpur University, Kolkata for validation," explains Dave. He also alleges that gpcb is ignoring the matter, despite knowing about it.

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