The water quality report prepared by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) reeks of a “conspiracy” to “benefit RO manufacturers”, Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said Friday.
“Pipes that are 30 years old will break and see contamination and will be repaired regularly, but to come out with such a report on Delhi’s water quality at this time is a conspiracy… Unnecessary fear about water quality is being
created at a time when there is a National Green Tribunal order laying down guidelines for reduction of use of ROs,” Sisodia said at The Indian Express Idea Exchange.
A report by BIS, according to which samples picked up from 11 locations in Delhi had failed 19 tests, was made public by union minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan last week. According to the report, Delhi’s water was the worst among 21 cities.
According to the NGT order, ROs should not be installed in homes where the TDS (total dissolved solids) in water is less than 500 mg/l.
Questioning BIS’s methodology, Sisodia said: “In a report where only 11 samples have been picked up, one is taken from the minister’s (Paswan’s) house, one from his office, one from a member of (Paswan’s) Lok Janshakti Party and one from the house of a person who has contested elections from Yogendra Yadav’s party… Bureau of Indian Standards has now become Bureau of LJP standards. When you come out with a report with such far-reaching consequences, will you pick up samples from only 11 places? And that too from houses of those who are in the opposition… What is the sanctity of these samples?”
The Delhi government has rejected the findings of the BIS report and conducted tests at nine of the 11 locations again — samples were not collected from the minister’s house, and a house that was locked. Officials said that of the nine samples, eight were fit for drinking and one failed the test on one parameter.
Paswan, in a tweet, said that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had acknowledged in the morning that some areas were getting dirty water and the issue needs to be resolved, not politicised.
Targeting Paswan, Sisodia said that a proper methodology needs to be employed to test water. “The standard operating procedure developed by the World Bank says one sample has to be picked per 10,000 population. You bring out a report where half the samples are from houses or offices of people in the opposition parties. It is not just political but seems like a financial conspiracy too… If you make noise saying water is poisonous, people will rush to buy ROs. This report was RO industry driven,” he said.