GUWAHATI, Sept 6 - There are no traces of arsenic in the water of the Brahmaputra near Guwahati and the lead content is also below danger level.
This was stated by Minister for Guwahati Development Department Himanta Biswa Sarma in the Legislative Assembly today.
Replying to a Zero Hour notice by AGP MLA Ramendra Narayan Kalita, the Minister said that the State government had asked both the IIT Guwahati and the Pollution Control Board to carry out quality assessment of the water of Brahmaputra to find out facts regarding the presence of lead and arsenic.
�The Pollution Control Board said that there is no problem of arsenic as it is present only in underground water,� Sarma said. IIT Guwahati also found that while arsenic is not present in the river, at certain places lead is present.
The Minister said that as per the study of the Pollution Control Board conducted at different places in Assam along the Brahmaputra, there was no trace of either lead or arsenic at Dhubri, while at Neamatighat, Jogigopa and Maijan there were small traces of lead.
With regard to Guwahati and its nearby areas, Sarma said that no lead has been traced at Chandrapur, while at Pandu and Kacharighat it is present, but at �below danger� level. However, lead content is high in the Brahmaputra at Sualkuchi.
�So there is no problem of arsenic in Guwahati. There is lead at some places but at levels below the danger point,� he said. The Minister added that the lead content at the intake points for the four new water projects being implemented in the city is low.
�The intake points are located at safe places. But we will monitor the situation continuously and continue to take samples from the sites regularly to ensure that the water from the intake points is safe. As per the report of the Pollution Control Board, there is no cause for concern,� Sarma said.
Earlier, raising the issue during Zero Hour, Kalita cited media reports about presence of lead and arsenic in the water of the Brahmaputra. He said that such contamination can have serious health hazard for residents of Guwahati, especially at a time when major water supply schemes, which will depend on water from the river, are being implemented.