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  Water dilemma for Delhiites: To drink, or not to drink

Water dilemma for Delhiites: To drink, or not to drink

Published : Jul 5, 2016, 2:26 am IST
Updated : Jul 5, 2016, 2:26 am IST

Now Delhiites can drink tap water supplied by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) without any filtration as the water supplied by the utility provider was found almost 100 per cent safe for drinking. The purity of water quality supplied by the DJB has been certified by three municipal corporations.

As per the reports of the three civic bodies — East, North and South Delhi Municipal Corporation — out of the total 10,691 sample lifted to test contamination this year, only 170 failed the purity test which is approximately 1.56 per cent. The remaining water was found safe for drinking. The water samples were collected by the civic bodies’ public health department official since January this year.

Purest drinking water is supplied in East Delhi and comparatively worst quality is supplied in South Delhi. Out of the total 3,473 samples lifted from January to May by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) for testing, none failed the purity test this year. Last year only four samples had failed the purity test out of 10,135 samples lifted for quality check. Not a single of the 8,834 sample lifted by the EDMC for testing had failed the purity test in 2014.

In areas falling under South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), out of the 4,277 water samples lifted by the civic body for testing this year, 128 were found contaminated or unfit for drinking which is less than three per cent. 287 water samples out of the 12,484 lifted

for purity test failed in 2015. In 2014, around five per cent of the total water sample lifted by SDMC had failed the purity test. Even in a joint testing of the water samples by the SDMC and DJB, only 15 samples out of total 878 had failed the test this year which is just 1.7 per cent.

Almost 100 per cent of the water samples lifted by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) have been found pure for drinking. Out of 2983 water samples lifted this year by NDMC’s public health department, only 39 failed the quality check. The NDMC, which also conducted joint water testing with the DJB, found that out of the total 2,329 sample lifted for joint testing, 34 failed the quality test.

The DJB, on an average, treat around 880 MGD (million gallons per day) water to meet the demands of Delhiites at its nine water treatment plant situated across the city. The DJB claimed that its continuous emphasis on quality was finally accepted by the other agency. This proves

its commitment to provide safe and pure drinking water to the residents of the national capital.

“At DJB we are committed to provide safe drinking water to the residents. We follow standard cleaning protocols, which reflected in the reports by the three municipal corporations, and it also shows our commitment to not compromise with the quality of water. We have our own mechanism in place that checks water quality at different stages starting at the water treatment plant to the time it is supplied to the households,” said DJB chief executive officer Keshav Chandra.

Mr Chandra, however, clarified that the few samples that failed the civic bodies’ quality test may be due to local faults. “After seeing the volume of samples lifted for testing, it looks that 170 samples failed the test due to local faults like leakage in pipeline leading to contamination of water. We regularly try to identify and rectify such local faults to ensure safe and pure supply of water,” added Mr Chandra.

On the other hand, the Municipal Corporations that conducted the test and certified the quality of water, questioned the report and said that a retest should be done. “We received lots of complaints from people about poor water quality and it is surprising that reports are showing DJB water as almost 100 per cent safe. We have to check whether the tests were done properly or not,” said Rajpal Rana, chairman of NDMC’s public health committee.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi