Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday made a clarion call for beginning a ‘Swachh Pani Abhiyan’ or clean water mission in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’.
Paswan asserted that it is not a matter of consumer rights but of people’s lives and therefore must be given priority, read a statement.
He stated that it is “Prime Minister Modi’s vision to provide piped drinking water to all households by 2024 and for furthering this vision and mission, he has started this Abhiyan which has begun from Delhi and will be taken across the nation, the statement added.
Paswan chaired a meeting with officials of Bureau of India Standards (BIS), Delhi Jal Board (DJB), officials from Ministry of Jal Shakti and Department of Consumer Affairs and FSSAI where it was discussed that the standards for drinking water which are being set by BIS must be made mandatory which are currently voluntary in nature and only then can they be enforced.
BIS stated in the meeting that it had collected samples from 11 places from Delhi region and tested them on 42 parameters such as PH levels, Odour, Metal content, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and all samples failed to meet the BIS standard on multiple parameters.
Paswan said it is the responsibility of DJB to provide clean drinking water to all residents of Delhi and people are facing numerous issues due to this, the statement said.
Paswan further directed BIS officials to collect samples from state capitals and compile the results by November 2019 itself. The process of collecting samples from state capitals including Delhi has already begun. BIS will be conducting a test of all the water samples for which teams have been deployed.
Addressing the media after the meeting, Paswan said that BIS has been asked to write letters to all states including Delhi and also to concerned officials from various ministries to create a consensus among them regarding making the standards mandatory. This is an important matter that touches the lives of all citizens and especially children who are most vulnerable, he stated.