The North Delhi Municipal Corporation, which conducted an inspection of 572 licensed water trolleys under its jurisdiction, has found that all of them were violating health norms, selling water unfit for consumption. The capital has 1,623 such trolleys, which charge Rs 2 for a glass of water.
The details were given in response to questions asked by standing committee member Mukesh Goyal Wednesday, during a special standing committee meeting called to discuss preparations to tackle water-borne diseases in monsoon.
Civic body officials check the chlorine content of water and whether potassium permanganate has been used as a disinfectant to clean glasses during inspection of water trollies. According to the WHO, maximum amount of chlorine allowed in drinking water is 5 mg/l.
A machine that changes colour if chlorine content is up to the mark is used during inspection, and violators are fined Rs 500. Goyal said, “How are officials imposing fine and allowing such trollies to function? They will be back in business and continue selling water unfit for human consumption.” He also sought to link it to water-borne diseases. The North corporation reported 378 cases of diarrhea and 89 of cholera this year, while 3,293 cases of diarrhea and 717 cases of cholera have been reported since 2015.
“Common sense says there should be repeated action to see if the vendor is continuing to violate health norms. If so, the corporation should take strict action on repeat offenders,” North corporation commissioner Madhup Vyas said. He ordered health department officials to make a detailed report, to be presented in the next meeting.
Standing committee members of the BJP, Congress and AAP also alleged that officials were giving wrong figures in the standing committee meetings, by claiming that there was no shortage of medicines in hospitals. Standing committee member Avatar Singh said, “The figures say that there is no shortage of medicines… I recently visited Hindu Rao Hospital and there was shortage of 150 life saving drugs.”
Standing committee Chairperson Veena Virmani said, “The officials’ report shows there are no clear answers to some questions. This should be stopped and a correct figure should be presented before the standing committee.”