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Welcome to UKIERI British Council PRAMA Project

PRAMA group


THE UKIERI/British Council funded research project PRAMA: Probabilistic Risk Assessment Modelling for groundwater Arsenic mitigation” is a collaborative partnership between The University of Manchester and the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology. The PRAMA Project was launched at the CSIR-IICB in Kolkata, India on January 18th 2008 and was completed, after receipt of extension dissemination funding in December 2011.

The UK Team Leader is Dr David Polya from EPS’s School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences. The India Team Leader, Dr Ashok Giri from the Molecular and Human Genetics Division of the IICB.

Half Day Dissemination Workshop.
September 21st 2011.
University of Manchester.
Download poster for details.


Arsenic concentrations in groundwaters in West Bengal, other parts of India and many other parts of the world, including Bangladesh and Pakistan, constitute a major health threat to tens of millions of people, who utilize these waters – either directly for drinking or indirectly through the irrigation of the food-crops they eat. The Indian Federal Government and the Government of West Bengal are currently implementing a £ 250,000,000 programme to mitigate these massive health risks. This programme is complex and challenging. PRAMA aims to investigate key factors controlling the health risks arising from the use of arsenic-laden groundwaters and to make their findings accessible to key stakeholders such as the GoWB and NGOs.

The PRAMA project will interface closely with other Manchester-based European Commission and NERC funded programmes, notably the £ 2,000,000 AquaTRAIN and £ 400,000 CALIBRE projects, related to biogeochemical, remediation and health aspects of arsenic in groundwater. The ground-breaking work by IICB scientists on the links between genetic polymorphisms and susceptibility to develop arsenicosis, may ultimately have benefits in the Europe and the USA as well as in the sub-continent. Exchanges of research students and scientists between Manchester and IICB will help maximize the benefits of the multi-disciplinary nature of the partnership.


fieldtripMichael Lawson, Professor Chris Ballentine, Debapriya Mondal and Mr Bablu on site in Chakdaha collecting groundwater samples for tritium and C-14 dating and noble gas analysis – these analysis should help understand what the involvement of surface waters is in these shallow aquifers and, particular, if they have any impact of the rates of arsenic mobilization into well waters in West Bengal from the aquifer sediments. Debapriya Mondal, a Dorothy Hodgkins supported PhD student at The University of Manchester is currently on an extended exchange visit to the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology in Kolkata under the auspices of the PRAMA Project – her work is focused on human exposure to groundwater arsenic and water-borne pathogens and probabilistic risk assessment.