The Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Shri Ram Vilas Paswan today made a clarion call for beginning a ‘Swachh PaniAbhiyaan’ or clean water mission in line with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’. Shri Paswan Asserted that it is not a matter of consumer rights but of people’s lives and therefore must be given priority. Shri Paswan stated that it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to provide piped Drinking water to all households by 2024 and for furthering this vision and mission, he has started this Abhiyaan which has begun from Delhi and will be taken across the nation.
The Union Minister chaired a meeting with officials of Bureau of India Standards (BIS), Delhi Jal Board (DJB), officials from Ministry of Jal Shakti &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 informed during 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. Shri 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.
Shri Paswan directedBIS 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, Shri 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.
Shri Paswan exhorted the media to make a ‘Jan Aandolan’ or a people’s movement out of this initiative of the Ministry. The Minister also asked for research to be done to create basic testing kits which can be easily used and understood by all people that will help them ascertain whether the water is clean enough to drink or not.