Atomic Energy Commission to help fight problem of silt in Ganga

Patna,(BiharTimes): The chairman of Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Sekhar Basu has offered “nuclear technology” to help Bihar tackle the problem of silt that are obstructing flow in the Ganga and thus causing flood every year.

Sources said Basu, who was in Patna last month, has promised chief minister Nitish Kumar that the AEC would provide assistance with isotope studies that could be used to map the locations of underwater silt.

Nitish and Basu had a meeting on May 28 at the chief minister’s official bungalow at 1 Anne Marg. The latter had come to Patna on the request of Nitish after visiting the National Research Centre on Litchi in Muzaffarpur. A processing unit that uses radiation to increase the shelf life of litchi was inaugurated there.

Sources said the nuclear technology involved the use of isotopes that would not be harmful for living organisms.

“The AEC chief informed our chief minister that these isotopes would be released in the Ganga, and could be monitored with tracking devices. Their flow route could be charted easily, while their dense accumulation would reveal underwater places where silt has deposited. Basically it is a form of intelligent technology,” one of the officials present at the meeting with CM, was quoted in The Telegraph.

He also said that the chief minister expressed enthusiasm that such a technology was available to help his efforts to conserve and protect the Ganga.

Isotopes are versions of certain elements with the same numbers of protons but different number of neutrons in their nuclei. Some isotopes are radioactive, meaning they emit radiation, enabling their use as tracers.

Isotopes are routinely used in medical imaging and scans.

Basu and a few other officials also did low altitude aerial survey of the Ganga from Chausa in Buxar district to Farakka in Bengal and returned after observing how heavy siltation has distorted and obstructed the river flow, the daily reported.


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