The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has formed 32 teams to carry out a water quality test based on samples from all municipal wards in the city, officials from the water department said Tuesday.
The move comes after a Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) report last week ranked Delhi as the worst city for water quality, prompting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is also the DJB chairman, to challenge the Centre on Monday for a re-test.
The teams, comprising four members each, will collect 1,400 samples from across Delhi, five from every municipal ward, said Sanjay Sharma, chief water analyst at the DJB.
“The teams will go to each ward to draw the samples, which will be tested against 29 parameters… There will be an open invitation to the media to be present at the time of sampling. A report of the results will then be put out in the public domain,” Sharma said.
The exercise is expected to start in a week and take around a month to complete. The 29 parameters being tested include water turbidity and pH level.
Two BIS officials appointed by Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan — who released the BIS report Saturday — would also join the team, and a third party such as the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) would also be engaged, Sharma said.
DJB officials said CM Kejriwal would write a letter to the Centre with a request to appoint more officials from their side. Dinesh Mohaniya, DJB vice-chairman, said, “We need people in large numbers for this test.”
The BIS had tested 11 samples from different locations across Delhi, all of which failed to pass 19 parameters, including odour, total dissolved solids and turbidity. Speaking in the Parliament Monday, Paswan had said water supplied by the DJB was not fit for drinking and had challenged Kejriwal for a re-test.
Kejriwal has called the BIS report “politically motivated” and said that water quality of a city cannot be determined based on samples from 11 places. He also said that between January 1 and September 24, out of over 1.55 lakh water samples collected by the DJB, 2,222 or 1.43% failed the test. In October, 96.02% of 16,502 samples collected passed the test.
The CM had also said that as per the World Health Organisations’s standards, one water sample should be taken for every 10,000 people in a city, based on which 2,000 samples should have been taken from Delhi.
He had also claimed Monday that the Centre was not revealing the addresses of the 11 locations from where the water samples were taken. However, on Tuesday, Paswan tweeted a list of the addresses from where the samples were taken.