Unable to provide safe drinking water, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) will distribute money for water bottles among its schoolchildren on Children's Day. Earlier, it was supposed to distribute bottles among the kids, but to avoid calling tenders as it would delay the process, the agency has instead decided to distribute cash.
The MCD has decided to have a separate fund for water bottles as there is either no water supply or dirty water is supplied to its 53 schools, where around 90,000 students study. Each student will be given R100 to buy a bottle.
Earlier, when the MCD had asked students to get water from home, those from the economically weaker section complained of not having money to buy bottles. It was then that the education committee set aside R1 crore for the purpose.
"It is easier to distribute money than water bottles. For bottles, we will have to call a tender and process it. We will start distributing money among the students on Children's Day. We appeal to parents and children to spend the amount on bottles only," said Mahender Nagpal, chairman of the education committee.
The MCD runs 1,739 primary schools. Water purifiers are installed in 1,361 schools, but 50 of these machines are not functioning. The civic agency has also demanded water tankers for many schools, which either don't get water supply or get dirty water.
"The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is not supplying adequate water to schools. Since the MCD provides midday meal, water is also required for cooking. We try and get tankers for schools, but sometimes even water from the tanks is not clean," he said.
Nagpal has also written a letter to CM Sheila Dikshit demanding better water supply in MCD schools.