Valley in danger

Published: Friday 30 April 1999

a recent study conducted by environmentalist Banke Behari Das and his team has warned that people living in Orissa's Sukinda valley will be exposed to high levels of toxic pollution. The region has the largest concentration of chrome ore deposits in Asia. Das said stomach ailments, respiratory and heart diseases had become a common phenomena and cancer had already made in-roads into the areas.

Das referred to the guidelines and norms prescribed by the ministry of environment which put the maximum tolerable content of hexavalent chromium at 0.05 milligram per litre of water. The water, he said, becomes poisonous if chrome levels exceed this limit and is unsafe even for bathing. According to him, scientific analysis of water samples, collected from various sources in the area during the past year, revealed that the hexavalent chromium concentration in water had been 10 to 11 milligrams per litre during the summers.

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