The reply to a Right to Information (RTI) query about collecting water samples from their colony came as a surprise to the residents of south Delhi's Tughlaqabad Extension. In its RTI reply, the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) said water samples were collected on June 18.
"Forget June 18, no samples were ever collected from our colony in the last decade," said Dharam Bansal, chairperson of the Natural Green Tughlaqabad Extension Resident Welfare Association. Residents said no DJB staff has ever come to collect water samples in their colony.
Somvir Chaudhary, another RWA member, said: "We checked the addresses mentioned in the DJB's reply. Every single house listed there confirmed that no DJB staff came to collect samples on June 18."
Fed up with inconsistent supply, unequal distribution and poor quality water supplied to their colony, residents of this colony had filed several RTIs with the DJB. DGP Karsolia, president of the association, said: "We wanted to know whether the quality of water supplied to us was ever checked, and if the quality report was available."
The reply included a copy of bacteriological analysis report for 37 samples, three from boosters and remaining from different houses in the colony. All were 'clear', had traces of chlorine and the water quality was 'found satisfactory'.
HT had carried a series of reports last week wherein it was pointed out how DJB's water surveillance mechanism is suspect due to shortage of staff, inadequate infrastructure and testing of lesser number of parameters specified in the BIS norms. The jal board had denied any such issues and proclaimed its water is safe for drinking.
But the quality control lab officials mentioned that they were testing the water based on '10500: 1998 reframed 2009', which has already been phased out by BIS 10500: 2012.
SK Bhardwaj, DJB's superintending engineer (south), clarified: "The 37 samples show presence of residual chlorine, which is an indication that the water is free of contamination."