Residents of Mumbai are the only ones in India with the option to drink water out of their municipal water taps if they wanted to, as per a recent pan-India survey of drinking water standards in capitals. On the flip side, the report also called out most Indian capitals for not complying with the norms set by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for clean, piped drinking water.
The study, led by the Union Consumer Affairs Ministry, found that samples of tap water collected from other Indian capitals and metro cities — Delhi, Kolkata, and Chennai — failed in nearly 10 of 11 quality parameters tested by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The samples were tested against the 'Indian Standard (IS)—10500:2012' for drinking water by the BIS, which is under the aegis of the Consumer Affairs ministry.
Consumer Affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan released the report and shared some findings from the study, which is currently in its second phase. In the first stage of the survey, BIS evaluated 11 samples from across different parts of Delhi and found that none complied with the quality requirements set for piped water. BIS looked for organoleptic parameters (involving the use of sensory parameters like taste, appearance, smell, and sensation of touch), the chemical and toxicity profile of waste vs tap water, and a test for viruses, bacteria and other sources of biological contamination.
"Out of 20 state capitals, all the 10 samples of piped water drawn from Mumbai were found to comply with all 11 parameters, while other cities are failing in one or more," Paswan said.
"Stringent actions cannot be taken as the quality standards for piped water at present are not mandatory. Once it becomes, we can take action."
In Chennai, ten out of ten samples failed across nine parameters (turbidity, odour, total hardness, chloride, fluoride, Ammonia, Boron and Coliform bacteria), while nine of nine samples collected from Kolkata failed in ten quality parameters.
In the study's third and fourth phases, samples from the capital cities of northeastern states and from 100 "smart cities" will be put to the test, these results are expected by 15 January 2020. A proposal to test tap water from all the district headquarters of the country is also expected to produce results by 15 August 2020, according to BIS Director-General Pramod Kumar Tiwari.
with inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Nov 18, 2019 15:13:00 IST