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They drink glassfuls of germs

The tests carried out by the NGO found 92% water samples unfit for human consumption, reports Avishek G Dastidar.

india Updated: Dec 28, 2006 02:55 IST

The water the government supplies to slum clusters and resettlement colonies in the city is swimming with filth and germs, a study has said.

The tests were carried out by the NGO Hazards Centre, which found around 92 per cent of water samples collected from five slum clusters and six resettlement colonies, including Bawana, were not fit for human consumption due to an alarming presence of a variety of pollutants.

As many as 77 samples were collected from slum areas like Tigri and Kanakdurga, and resettlement colonies like Bawana, Bhalaswa, Molarbund and others. The NGO carried out the study after being approached by residents of the colonies who complained that the water they get “tastes or smells bad”.

The study examined the water samples in terms of chloride, fluoride, iron and faecal contamination, among other things. The findings indicate that almost all resettlement colonies receive water contaminated with biological waste like faeces. Moreover, chloride and fluoride contents in a majority of the samples were found to be higher than the desired and/or permissible level.

Releasing the report on Wednesday, director of Hazards Centre Dunu Roy said, “We collected samples of water from a variety of sources, including the Delhi Jal Board tankers. Almost all the samples were found to be unfit for drinking.”
The study looked at water before monsoon and after monsoon.

When told about the findings, Sanjam Cheema, spokeswoman for the Delhi Jal Board, said she had not looked at the study as yet. “Water by the DJB has been certified to be the best in terms of quality all over the world. Many a renowned agencies have tested our water and found it to be absolutely safe,” she said.

However, the NGO has slammed the government for discriminating against the poor. “The findings indicate that the so-called substandard areas of the Capital receive inferior quality of water from the water-providing authorities. The same authorities provide better quality of water to the affluent parts of the city,” he said.

Email Avishek G Dastidar: avishek.dastidar@hindustantimes.com