2004-06-11 06:01:04 UTC
Monday June 07 2004 15:18:23 PM BDT
Meer Husain, from USA
The DPHE/BGS investigators, Nickson & McArthur et.al., Bhattacharya et.al.,
Aggarwal et.al., and Shafiqul Islam & Feroz Ahmed et.al. have been suggesting
that the groundwater arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh is a natural disaster,
that the poisoning has been present in the groundwater for thousands of years,
that dugwells in the arsenic contaminated areas are free of arsenic poisoning
and that oxyhydroxide reduction is the main mechanism for releasing arsenic
The review of their investigative reports indicate that their theories are not
based on correct and adequate geological, hydrological, hydro-geological and
It also appears that some of these scientists are not qualified to address the
source and cause of groundwater arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh.
Some of them are inexperienced in dealing with soil and groundwater
contamination problems, some are ignorant about the hydological and
hydrogeological history of Bengal Basin while others appear to be biased to
establish the reduction theory for the mobilization of arsenic into
The groundwater arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh is a life and death problem of
a nation. Therefore, the govt. of Bangladesh and scientific community must
critically review their work and expertise before accepting their theories
regarding the source and the cause of groundwater arsenic poisoning in
Those scientists, geologists, hydro-geologists, chemists, engineers and others
who have difficulty in understanding how the dams/barrages are related to the
oxidation mechanism for the creation of a recent, man-made arsenic disaster in
Bangladesh, should review the following article published in "News From
Bangladesh" on February 05, 2004.
(See the Ref article concern posted below )
Meer Husain, P.G.
Kansas Dept. of Health & Environment
and Adjunct Faculty
Cowley County Community College
Unilateral withdrawal Major rivers fall sharply
Thursday February 05 2004 14:08:43 PM BDT
Feb 4, 2004, Most of the major rivers and their tributaries in the northern
region marked a sharp fall this year ahead of dry season in March, official
sources said on yesterday. Most of the tributaries and smaller rivers have
already dried up and the major rivers are in a pitiable condition now.(BSS)
Unilateral withdrawals of river water by the Indian authorities on their side
of the border have caused the situation in lower riparian Bangladesh,
Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) officials said.
According to senior engineers of BWDB, there are three major barrages on the
Padma, the Teesta and the Mahananda rivers in India. These three rivers and the
Brahmaputra carry most of the waters from the upper catchments to Bangladesh
As there is no rainfall and melting of the Himalayan ice, availability of
natural water flow remains at the lowest level during this particular period
every year. On the other hand, the Indian side has put all gates of their
Farakka, Teesta and Mohananda barrages closed inside India now. As a result,
water flow in these three major rivers has been reduced to the minimum now.
The situation will further worsen during the peak irrigation period in March
and April when the underground water levels will go down due to lifting of
underground waters for irrigation. The conditions of the rivers in the region
will turn to the worst then, they apprehended.
According to reports collected from different parts of the northern region, the
mighty Teesta has now become almost dead and its tributaries have been dried up
totally due to unilateral withdrawal of water by the Indian side through their
Geozaldoba Barrage in the upstream.
The river has silted up everywhere in the area and thousands of bigger chars
(shoals) have emerged on its bed. The giant Teesta Barrage Project (TBP) at
Dalia point in Nilphamari border has now become almost useless due to absence
of required water. The Dharla at Kurigram with thousands of chars on its bed
has almost lost its navigability.
The Brahmaputra has been divided into a dozen of smaller channels at its near
Noon Khaoar Char at Assam borders in Nageswari upazila of Kurigram