Concern is raised by the substantial uranium content of the groundwater in Bihar.

Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) has discovered that the presence of uranium in water samples collected from various locations of the state is above the permissible threshold . Maximum amount of uranium in potable water is 30 parts per billion (PPB) Maximum concentration of uranium in the range of 40 to 50 PPB have been found in some areas .

PATNA (Patna): The recent findings of radioactive uranium in groundwater in some parts of Bihar have sparked the alarm bells for both the authorities and environmental campaigners.The Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) has discovered that the presence of uranium in water samples collected from various locations of the state is above the permissible threshold in an investigation.Although the maximum amount of uranium in potable water is 30 parts per billion (PPB), concentrations of uranium in the range of 40 to 50 PPB have been found in some areas, causing a lot of anxiety for health reasons.Water samples from ten districts, including Nalanda, Nawada, Katihar, Madhepura, Vaishali, Supaul, Aurangabad, Gaya, Saran, and Jehanabad, were sent to the Lucknow center of CGWB for detailed isotopic uranium measurements using the Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) technique, which measures isotopic ratios at a relatively Singh further stated that sampling of some samples has already revealed a higher concentration of uranium in groundwater, and that the authorities are still waiting for the results of the analysis of all the remaining samples.

The CGWB had collected a total 14,377 groundwater samples from shallow wells and water sources around the country during the seasonal sample collection program for 2019-20.634 samples were collected and analysed in Bihar, and it was found that the heavy metal concentration in 11 samples was higher than the WHO's permissible threshold.According to Singh, districts with high uranium groundwater include Saran, Bhabhua, Khagaria, Madhepura, Nawada, Sheikhpura, Purnia, Kishanganj, and Begusarai.Uranium was detected to be polluting the groundwater in ten Bihar districts earlier in a joint study conducted by the University of Manchester-UK and the Mahavir Cancer Institute and Research Centre-Patna.

According to Ashok Kumar Ghosh, the chairman of the Bihar State Pollution Control Board who had participated in this survey, uranium levels are high mostly in the north, west-south, and east band along and to the east of the Gandak river and south of the Ganga towards Jharkhand.The presence of uranium in groundwater was a chance finding, according to Ghosh, as a result of a proposed arsenic mapping study.Surprisingly, it was discovered that water samples with a lower arsenic concentration contained a higher concentration of uranium, he said, adding that a more detailed investigation is required to trace the source of uranium contamination in the groundwater aquifers and ascertain the geologic origin of the radio-active metal in the Gangetic belt.Uranium in a higher concentration is considered to be a dangerous hazard for human health, as it can affect the kidneys and even lead to cancer, according to Ghosh.