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Initial tests reveal radiation in Sunamganj backswamps not alarming

BAEC team led by Member Dilip Kumar Saha recorded the radiation level at the Dekhar Haor in Sadar Upazila and the Karchar Haor in Biswamvarpur Upazilas.

“No traces of radiation caused by uranium exposure to water body have been found. The radiation-level rather is way below the normal,” Saha, who heads BAEC’s Physical Science wing, told the media in Sunamganj.

He said the regular level of radiation stands at 0.20 whereas their radiation survey meter measured 0.09.

Flash floods and heavy rains in early April caused inundated crops in haors of Sunamganj, Kishoreganj, Netrokona, Moulvibazar, Sylhet and Habiganj districts.

Following the flash foods, fishes started to die after the water got contaminated, followed by fowls, mainly ducks.

Media reports, citing concerns of experts and locals, said that fishes and birds might have died due to radiation caused from open pit uranium mines in the Indian state of Meghayala across the border in Sunamganj.

In late last year, the Khasi community living just across the border near Sunamganj’s Tanguar haor raised concerns over death of fish populations suspecting uranium toxin exposure due to open pit mining of uranium.

The three-member BAEC team, which includes Chief Scientific Officer Debashish Pal and the head of its Chemical Analysis wing Bilkis Ara Begum reached Sunamganj on Saturday and collected samples of dead fish birds, flora and sediments from several locations.

Pal told reporters that the cause of deaths will be known after they run tests on those in Dhaka.


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