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

Endangered Generations :Groundwater Arsenic Contamination in
West Bengal, India

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North 24-Pargana District

The area and population of North 24- Parganas are 4093.82 sq.km and 7.3 million respectively. From all 22 blocks of North 24-Parganas, we have so far analyzed 52475 water samples, and in 21 out of 22 blocks, groundwater has been above 50 µg/l and in 21 blocks above 10 µg/l (Figure 2). Out of total 52475 samples analyzed, 53.01% contains arsenic above 10 µg/l and 29.63% above 50µg/l. Total 22500 hair, nail and urine samples have also been analyzed at random from people of the affected 16 blocks and an average 75% of the people have arsenic in biological samples above normal level. Thus, many people are expected to be sub-clinically affected. Detailed survey report of North 24-Parganas is given in Table 2. According to our present calculation on the basis of number of hand tube-wells we had analyzed and people drinking water from each contaminated tube-well and extrapolation of the data reveals that about 2.1 million people were drinking arsenic contaminated water above 50 µg/l from North 24-Parganas alone. Even today, the number of affected villages is steadily on the rise and some of the villagers are totally ignorant of the fact that they are drinking contaminated water, which in turn, is responsible for their skin lesions. During our preliminary screening of 33000 people from 16 of the said 21 blocks where groundwater contains arsenic more than 50µg/l, we have registered 2274 (6.8%) patients suffering from arsenic related diseases.

Table 2: Arsenic situation in North 24-Pargana one of the nine arsenic affected districts of West Bengal-India

Area of North 24-Parganas 4093.82 sq. km
Population of North 24-Parganas (in thousands) 7281.88
Number of Blocks in North 24-Parganas 22
Number of Blocks surveyed in North 24-Parganas 22
Total number of Hand-Tubewell water samples analyzed 52475
% of samples having arsenic above 10 µg/L 53.01
% of samples having arsenic above 50 µg/L 29.63
Number of Blocks where groundwater contain arsenic above 10 µg/L 22
Number of Blocks where groundwater contain arsenic above 50 µg/L 21
Number of Villages where groundwater contain arsenic above 50 µg/L 1321
Number of Blocks surveyed for arsenic patient 16
Number of Blocks where arsenic patient found 16
Number of biological samples (hair, nail, urine) samples analyzed from the arsenic affected areas of North 24-Parganas 22500
% of biological samples have arsenic more than normal / toxic level 75
Total population screened for arsenic patients from affected villages (preliminary survey) 33000
Number of registered patients with arsenical skin lesions 2274 (6.8%)
Population drinking arsenic contaminated water above 50 µg/L (approx.) 2.1 million



Figure 2

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Dubious Tradition || Endangered Generation || Arsenic Orphans