Khanpora: Where PHE Department ‘serves toxins’ with drinking water
Laboratory Test Spots High Levels Of Nitrates, Phosphates, Iron In Tap Water Supply
Baramulla, Aug 8: A laboratory test has spotted high level of nitrates, phosphates and iron in drinking water supplied to Khanpora area in north Kashmir’s Baramulla town, exposing the callous approach of the Public Health Engineering Department towards safety of people.
According to sources, the high level of nitrate content in drinking water is risking the lives of people as “it can lead to severe health risks like the blue baby syndrome.”
“A recent water test conducted by the Department at Srinagar has shown the presence of nitrate, phosphate and iron above the permissible limit. The presence of such toxins in drinking water has raised several questions over the functioning of the PHE Department which has not only put the lives of the residents at risk but has even caused a huge loss to the state exchequer by selecting a place for the water scheme where water is extremely polluted,” the sources said.
According to reports, the Department of Public Health Engineering (PHE) Baramulla devised the ‘Khanpora water supply scheme’ for the residents at an estimated cost of Rs 66 lakhs some three years back. The Department, the reports said, had constructed a huge tube well on the banks of Jehlum at Khanpora for the purpose.
The residents said that soon after the completion of scheme, water was released to the area immediately after which the people started complaining of digestive and intestine problems.
“After public outcry, the Department conducted the water test and the reports were surprising as there were extremely high levels of nitrates, phosphates and iron therein,” the sources said. “Had the department carried out tests earlier, the situation would not have been so grim. It is a criminal negligence on part of PHE Department to overlook such a sensitive issue,” they said.
According to experts, the presence of nitrates above permissible limit in drinking water “is extremely dangerous and if not treated in time can lead to death of a person.” “The Nitrates can also cause Blue baby syndrome,” they said.
BLUE BABY SYNDROME:
Blue baby syndrome may cause due to the excessive nitrates in drinking water. When consumed the nitrates are converted to nitrite in the digestive system. The nitrites then react with the hemoglobin, causing dangerously high levels of methemoglobin. This enzyme cannot carry oxygen through the blood as hemoglobin does, resulting in organs, cells and tissues that are deprived of oxygen and skin with the characteristic bluish-tint. The syndrome can affect infants dangerously.
When contacted Executive Engineer PHE Baramulla Zahoor Ahmad said the residents of the area had been advised not to intake water other than supplied through tankers.
“We are looking into the report and are planning to construct an iron removal plant. Once the water becomes pure, then only will it be supplied in the area,” he told Greater Kashmir.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 8 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 8 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 9 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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