The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) took between 8 and 11 water samples from 21 state capitals and Union Territories as part of the survey, which declared that Delhi had the worst water quality among the places surveyed.
In the first phase, samples were picked up only from Delhi. The other cities were included in the second phase, the study states. Most cities failed to make the cut. In the third phase, BIS is planning to test water quality in Northeastern states and smart cities and the results of these are expected to be out by January 15.
Since October, documents show that the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has been sending reminders to BIS as well as state governments to “institutionalise” mechanisms to ensure water that passes BIS standards is supplied to households. The move is linked to the union government’s promise to supply piped water supply to all households by 2024.
The Delhi government, however, has raised questions about the methodology used for tests.
According to WHO norms, for areas with more than 1,00,000 residents, one sample per 10,000 population should be picked up for testing.
“In this case, samples were neither adequate nor randomised,” a senior Delhi Jal Board (DJB) official said.
Earlier this week, DJB officials had said that over 500 water samples are picked for testing from across the city on a daily basis.
“We test close to 15,000 samples per month. If a problem is detected at one point, we get it rectified,” the official said.
Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, from whose house a sample was taken, said again Friday that he did not want the issue to be politicised.
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