Days after a BIS report stated that drinking water in the national capital failed quality tests, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday accused the central ministers of playing "dirty politicis" and scaring people by saying that the city's drinking water is poisonous. Kejriwal said five random water samples will be lifted publicly from each ward in the city for examination and asserted that only 1.5 percent of the 1.55 lakh water samples picked up by the Delhi Jal Board in January-September this year have failed the tests.
Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Saturday released the second phase of the Bureau of Indian Standardisation (BIS) study which stated that Delhi along with Kolkata and Chennai failed in almost 10 out of 11 quality parameters of drinking water. "Its dirty politics, people are scared by the way Central ministers are saying Delhi water is poisonous," the Delhi chief minister said at a press conference. Union minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said Kejriwal was giving "poison" to people in the name of free water supply and demanded that he should step down from the post of chief minister.
"As per WHO standards, one sample per 10,000 population should have been tested. So, instead of 11, at least 2,500 samples needed to be tested," he said. The chief minister said Paswan is not telling the address from where the 11 samples were lifted from Delhi. "He has not told where from these samples were lifted. But, we will lift random samples from each municipal ward in a transparent manner and test it," Kejriwal said. He also said earlier Union Water Resources minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat termed Delhi water better than European standards.
"Both Shekhawat and Paswan are in the Cabinet of the Central government. Let them decide who is correct." In the first phase of its survey, the BIS had found all the 11 samples drawn from Delhi did not comply with the quality norm and the piped water was not safe for drinking purpose. Testing of water samples was conducted to check organoleptic and physical parameters and know the chemical and toxic substances and bacteriological quality besides virological and biological parameters.
Kejriwal also announced the 'Mukhyamantri Muft Sewer Yojna' saying free sewer connections will be provided to residents who are yet to get one, if they apply before March 31, 2020. "In some areas where sewer lines have been laid, some people do not have these connections. Delhi cabinet has decided to provide free connections by waiving all charges," he said. Nearly 2.31 lakh people will benefit from the scheme which will also prevent flow of untreated sewer into the Yamuna river, he said.