Of the 11 samples tested by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to assess drinking water quality in the capital, one was from an address that did not exist while the occupant of another claimed no sample was taken from his home, Delhi Jal Board (DJB) vice-chairman and AAP MLA Dinesh Mohaniya alleged Thursday.
Addressing a press conference at the Delhi Secretariat, Mohaniya also claimed the resident of the third address is a member of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), whose chief, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, released the BIS report last week. The report said Delhi’s drinking water quality was the worst among 21 cities. “At one house, the resident said the sample was taken by an LJP worker, not a BIS official,” he claimed.
Paswan, meanwhile, challenged Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to remove ROs in Delhi government offices: “If tap water in Delhi is pure, then Kejriwal should announce the removal of ROs from government offices and start providing tap water in official meetings.”
On Kejriwal’s claim that one of the men from whose house the sample was apparently picked up had told reporters he was satisfied with the water quality, Paswan said: “AAP claims water samples were not collected from Dipak Roy’s house. Roy gave the statement under pressure as an AAP MLA was sitting next to him. BIS has proof of collection of samples from Roy’s house.”
He also released a letter by BIS deputy director general J Roy Chowdhury, which, he said, states that two officers of BIS visited Roy’s house and collected 100 litres of water samples.
As per BIS, it had collected piped drinking water samples from Delhi and 20 other cities, including Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata, for testing against parameters including presence of chemical and toxic substances, and virological and biological requirements.
Kejriwal had called the report “politically motivated “ and challenged the Centre for a re-test.
Mohaniya claimed that the BIS not report did not mention the quality standard that should be met by the samples and the detailed findings of the test.
He said the DJB is testing samples from the 11 addresses assessed by the BIS and a report will be released soon. “… If BIS officials have made a mistake… they should be held responsible,” Mohaniya said.
Meanwhile, BJP leaders Thursday staged a protest near Kejriwal’s residence carrying “water samples from across Delhi”. The North civic body also said it will conduct an independent survey of water quality from all 104 wards and send a report to Delhi government and DJB. “We have reports that water is dirty, so we want to test it on different parameters so a true picture comes out,” said standing committee chairperson Jai Prakash.
On December 6, the BIS will organise a workshop for state government officials regarding potable water quality and ISO: 10500:2012 (Specification for Drinking Water).