New Delhi: Reacting to a report on poor water quality in Delhi, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal launched a scathing attack on Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan over discrepancies in the method of collecting samples and demanded a restudy on Delhi's water quality.
Arvind Kejriwal demanded that Paswan disclose the location from where the samples were collected. “Ram Vilas Paswan has said that samples have been taken from 11 locations. Just on the basis on 11 samples, you cannot declare the quality of water to be either good or bad,” Kejriwal said.
“We also asked him to disclose the location of 11 places from where they have picked those samples. But he is not letting us know. Why is he not letting us know? What is there to hide? Is there something hanky-panky?” questioned the chief minister.
A study by the Union Consumer Affairs Ministry has found that Delhi and many other metro cities failed in almost 10 out of 11 quality parameters tested by the Bureau of Indian Standards which is under the aegis of the Consumer Affairs Ministry.
Kejriwal argued that as per the WHO standards, the sample needs to be collected for every 10,000 people and only then can a study come to a conclusion. In this case, at least 2,000 samples would have been collected, he said.
The Delhi government said that in the coming days it would collect five samples from each municipal ward in Delhi in the presence of the people, media and the Opposition for testing. Kejriwal also invited Ram Vilas Paswan to be present on the occasion.
In a tweet on Sunday, Paswan said he is ready to take the samples again and the Kejriwal government cat get them tested from wherever it wants. "Nominate your representatives to test the water samples again. The high-level team of BIS is ready to take samples again and the samples can be tested at whichever laboratory they want," he said.
आज शीतकालीन सत्र के पहले दिन मैंने लोकसभा के पटल से घोषणा की कि दिल्ली के मुख्यमंत्री श्री @ArvindKejriwal जी दोबारा पानी के नमूनों की जांच हेतु अपना प्रतिनिधि नामित करें। हम BIS की तरफ से श्री प्रमोद तिवारी,DG(BIS) और श्री जे रॉयचौधरी DDG(Labs)BIS को नामित करते हैं।1/3 @PMOIndia— Ram Vilas Paswan (@irvpaswan) November 18, 2019
Kejriwal who is also in charge of the Delhi Jal Board, said, “Between January and September 24, Jal Board collected 1,55,302 samples, of which 2,222 samples failed to meet the standard. This means 1.43 % samples failed but 98.5 % samples did meet the standards'. Similarly, the data for October showed that out of the 10,502 samples, only 658 failed to meet the specified standard.
Kejriwal also pointed at the contradictory statement of Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekawat, who had said that Delhi's water quality was better than the European standards.