These kits were meant to test water samples to ensure clean and drinkable water in rural areas. But in eastern Uttar Pradeshs Gonda district,the field testing kits provided under the Rajeev Gandhi Rural Drinking Water Mission were not used till their expiry date.
The kits,worth around Rs 25 lakh,have now been rendered useless. The district administration is conducting a probe as to why the kits were not distributed on time.
The kits were distributed as a part of the Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance (WQM&S) component of the Drinking Water Mission. From the state governments Swajaldhara project office,these kits were to be sent to the districts,which would further distribute these to the block development officers (BDO).
Out of the districts 16 blocks,these kits were distributed in six blocks in 2006. In the remaining eight blocks,these were distributed in January 2009.
The WQM&S is one of the most important component of the Centrally-supported programme,under which,five people from each gram panchayat were to be trained to take samples and conduct a basic test to check the quality of drinking water available at various sources in a village. These people were to be given a field testing kit,comprising a small tester,bottles and vials containing a chemical. Every year,the vials were to be replaced with new ones,as the tests are to be conducted annually.
On November 25,Gonda District Development Officer (DDO) Shriram Kishan convened a meeting,where he asked the BDOs as to how many new kits and new vials are required for the district. He gave them two days to submit a report.
To his surprise,Kishan found that not a single kit has reached the villages and none have been used so far. There are no records that the kits distributed in 2006 and 2009 have been used. Also,there are no water testing reports available,which shows that the kits have not been used so far, he added.
Since the time period to use the chemical vials is six to nine months,the kits are now useless. These kits are worth around Rs 25 lakh and now,all are useless. Even if we order the vials again,then the first lot has gone waste. We do not have complete details of the people who were trained to use these kits, said Kishan.
The matter was reported to District Magistrate Madhukar Dwivedi,who has asked the DDO to conduct a detailed probe. We have asked the BDOs to submit an explanation as to why these kits were not distributed and their present location. Also,we have asked them to give details of villagers,who were trained to use the testing kits, said Kishan.