Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has told Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) was not bound to take cognisance of a report being prepared by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) on the city’s water quality.
“The BIS is not bound by the report of the team you have made as it is a Delhi government team… I demand that if Delhi’s drinking water (quality) is to be tested again, a joint BIS-DJB team should be made,” Paswan said in a letter to the CM on Monday.
DJB officials have been testing five water samples from homes in all municipal wards of the capital after the BIS report, released by Paswan, ranked Delhi as the worst among 21 cities for drinking water quality.
The minister also said that the BIS had sent names of 32 officials it has appointed for the joint re-test to the Delhi government, but is yet to receive a response on the 32 officials appointed by the latter. He also said water samples collected in the joint re-test should be tested in an NABL-accredited lab, as DJB labs were not internationally recognised.
Responding to the letter, DJB vice-chairman and AAP MLA Dinesh Mohaniya said the BIS was free to not take cognisance of the DJB report: “We are not liable to the BIS. We are liable to the people of Delhi; that we provide clean water to them. The BIS has prepared a fake report… we do not need their certification.”
Mohaniya also said the DJB is ready to get water samples tested from any lab recommended by the BIS.
Kejriwal had called the BIS report “false and politically motivated” and challenged the Centre for a re-test. Paswan had appointed two BIS officials for a joint re-assessment and Kejriwal too had appointed two DJB officials, including Mohaniya.
However, DJB teams started collecting water samples from the city Saturday in the absence of BIS officials, with Mohaniya saying that the BIS was free to join them at any stage. The DJB is planning to test 3,000 water samples against 29 parameters, on standards set by the BIS.
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