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Centre says tap water undrinkable in Delhi, AAP cries foul

Saturday - November 16, 2019 9:00 pm , Category : INDIA
New Delhi, Nov 16 (IANS) The Central government on Saturday released a study on the quality of piped drinking water being supplied in 21 cities across the country, including Delhi, where tap water was termed as "undrinkable" along with 13 state capitals.
Reacting to it, Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said that the BJP-led government at the Centre was "stooping too low by doing politics on water quality after they failed miserably in controlling air pollution in entire northern India".
Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan, said that water samples were collected from 11 locations in Delhi.
According to Paswan, all the samples have failed to match the set parameters. The only metropolitan city where people can drink tap water safely is Mumbai as all its samples complied with Indian standards, the minister said.
The only metropolitan city where people can drink tap water safely is Mumbai as all its samples complied with Indian standards, the minister said.
The samples were taken from the capital cities of 20 states apart from the national capital. "It was done in keeping with the objectives of the Jal Jeevan Mission of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Paswan said.
On the directions of the ministry, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), a national body that makes quality standards for products and services, had decided to undertake a study of the quality of piped drinking water being supplied in the country. It also framed quality standards for tap water.
In Delhi, all the 11 samples drawn did not comply with the requirements of the BIS. The samples failed in several of the parameters.
Reacting to the report, AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj challenged the Centre and Paswan to pick water samples from Delhi and the cities ruled by the BJP in AAP's presence and send them for audit to a neutral agency.
"The Central government is stooping too low by doing politics over water quality after it failed miserably in controlling air pollution in entire northern India," he said.
Bharadwaj asked how Paswan could make such "irresponsible claims" when only in the month of September, Union Jalshakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat had on record stated that the water quality in Delhi was better than European standards.
"Paswan should have checked with the concerned Union ministry before making such a wild claim, which is not only irresponsible, but smacks of clear political bias," Bharadwaj said.

--IANS nks/arm