Hyderabad

Hyderabad on BARC’s radiation radar

Radiation in Hyderabad has reached such a level that BARC has included it on the list of cities to be regularly monitored for suggesting remedial measures

The government is likely to allot the terrace of the north ‘H’ block of the Secretariat where a state-of-the-art Disaster Management Control Room is coming up. The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) plans to install environmental radiation monitors (ERMs) later at different locations in Hyderabad, according to Disaster Management Commissioner T. Radha.

Radiation in Hyderabad has reached such a level that BARC has included it on the list of cities to be regularly monitored for suggesting remedial measures.

A study conducted in several areas of the city revealed that radiation had exceeded the limit of 5 sieverts per annum in many localities.

Causes so many

Radiation is normally caused by bald hills, rocky and hard-soil terrain of the Deccan Plateau (where Hyderabad lies 2,000 ft above the sea level), stone formations, presence of chemical plants, nuclear waste and petrol fumes, all of which add to the natural radiation emanated by the earth’s crust and cosmic rays.

The high levels are also due to a major part of its ground in the concrete jungle being paved.

High radiation

Nacharam, a locality with factories, was identified as a high-radiation zone, with even the fringes of a tank covered with toxic elements, a member of the study group said.

While Gondwana rocks, the earliest of the rock layers of the earth, cause high radiation, Jubilee Hills, Banjara Hills, Prashashan Nagar and MasabTank areas are filled with houses constructed using these rocks.

Illnesses

Every member of a family living in one such house suffers from one disease or the other.

On the other hand, radiation level is less in Himayathnagar and Dilsukhnagar.

The water in Himayathsagar and Osmansagar contains radiation levels at 11 ppm (particle per million) and 14 ppm, respectively, compared to that drawn from the Krishna river (2 ppm).

BARC has decided to install solar-powered ERMs it had developed, at the Secretariat, to begin with, to measure radiation in the city. This will be part of the Indian Environmental Radiation Monitoring Network being set up in the 100 listed cities across the country.

They have already been installed at nuclear power plants, uranium mining sites and nuclear fuel making units like the one here and are equipped with GM counters (named after German scientist Gieger Muller), apart from detecting radiation objects.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 7:57:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/hyderabad-on-barcs-radiation-radar/article4760345.ece

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