Ganga-Meghna Brahmaputra || West Bengal || Bangladesh || Middle Ganga Plain, Bihar || Uttarpradesh
Jharkhand || North-East Hilly States || Rajnandgaon, Chattisgarh || Behala, Kolkata, WB || As toxicity- Homeopathic Treatment
Effectiveness & Reliability - As Field Testing Kits || Utility Of Treatment Plant
Causes, Effects & Remedies - Groundwater As Calamity || References

Our study on
GROUNDWATER
ARSENIC CONTAMINATION IN
JHARKHAND, INDIA

Reported work done by SOES

Background

Sahibgunj is one of the 22 districts in the state of Jharkhand situated on the western bank of river Ganges, facing Maldah district in the eastern bank. Maldah is one of the nine arsenic affected districts of West Bengal and perhaps one of the worst hit. While Maldah came into limelight during nineties in connection with groundwater arsenic contamination, Sahibgunj remained unnoticed.  The figure shows the arsenic affected blocks of Sahibgunj district. Sahibgunj shares land border with Bihar and river border with Bihar and West Bengal.  Total area of Sahibgunj district is 160000 hectares and its population is approximately 1 million. Sahibgunj district is divided into nine community development blocks, namely, Sahibgunj, Rajmahal, Taljhari, Udhawa, Barharwa, Pathna, Berhait, Borio and Mandro. Tubewell and well samples were collected from each of these blocks and analysed after analyzing it was revealed only three community developed blocks was found arsenic affected (namely Sahibgunj, Rajmahal and Udhawa) out of nine communities developed blocks. This may be noted that the Sahibgunj district also has a community development block named Sahibgunj. Sahibgunj district constitutes a part of the vast expanse of Gangetic plains and its morphology and surficial geology bear characteristic signatures of Gangetic delta. It consists of silts, clays and sands in the form of river terraces and extends some thousands of meters below the surface. The age of these sediments range from Pleistocene to recent and they are believed to have been derived from the Himalayas and higher peninsular up-lands. It is also believed that Rajmahal trap rocks of upper Jurassic to early cretaceous age, which are exposed further east and south of Sahibgunj, could have contributed significantly towards the sedimentation of this area. Jharkhand is not only arsenic contaminated but also many peoples are suffering from fluorosis, a crippling disease, drinking fluoride contaminated water.

So far we have analyzed 3832 water samples from nine Blocks of Sahibgunj district Jharkhand state. Table-1 shows the details survey report. Table-2 shows the distribution of arsenic in groundwater from the surveyed areas.

Table 1:  Physical parameters and present arsenic status in Sahibgunj District Jharkhand

Physical parameters

Jharkhand

Area in sq. km

15499

Population in million (according to 2001 Census)

1(approx)

Total number of water samples analyzed

3832

% of samples having arsenic > 10 mg/L

32.28

% of samples having arsenic > 50 mg/L

13.44

% of samples having arsenic > 300 mg/L *

2.61

Maximum arsenic concentration so far we analyzed  (mg/L )

1018

No. of  block surveyed 

9

Number of arsenic affected block (approx.) where groundwater arsenic above 50 mg/L

3

Number of arsenic affected block (approx.) where groundwater arsenic above 10 mg/L

3

Number of Gram - Panchayet surveyed

51

Number of arsenic affected GP (approx.) where groundwater arsenic above 50 mg/L

24

Number of arsenic affected GP (approx.) where groundwater arsenic above 10 mg/L

34

Number of village surveyed

115

Number of arsenic affected villages (approx.) where groundwater arsenic above 50 mg/L

68

Number of arsenic affected villages (approx.) where groundwater arsenic above 10 mg/L

91

Total hair, nail and urine samples analyzed

1833

Arsenic above normal level (average) in biological samples

71% hair, 92% nail, 100% urine

People screened for arsenic patients (preliminary survey)

562

Number of registered patients with clinical manifestations

71

*During our last 20 years field experience in West Bengal and 10 years in Bangladesh we have observed that ingestion of arsenic contaminated water with 300 mg/L for prolonged period may cause arsenical skin lesions. We also described in our earlier paper

Table–2: Distribution of arsenic concentration from 9 blocks 51 GP’s and 115 villages of Sahibgunj district, Jharkhand
Name of the District
Total no. of samples analyzed
Arsenic concentration range (mg/L)

<3

3-9

<10

>10

10-50

>50

51-99

100-299

>300

300-499

500-699

700-1000

>1000

Sahibgunj
3832

2183(56.96%)

323(8.42%)

2506(65.39%)

1237(32.28%)

769(20.07%)

515(13.44%)

223(5.82%)

192(5.01%)

100(2.61%)

66(1.72%)

21(0.55%)

11(0.29%)

2(0.05%)


 

Patient from Hazipurbhita
(Total number of patients 38)

 

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