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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

No water-quality testing in place, MC playing with people’s health

Parampreet Singh Narula, Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, June 04, 2014
First Published: 00:27 IST(4/6/2014) | Last Updated: 00:29 IST(4/6/2014)

Even as the city has a history of serious water-borne diseases in many of its localities, the Municipal Corporation Jalandhar (MCJ) has failed to install a water-testing system to ensure residents get pure drinking water here.

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In short, the civic body does not have a check over the quality of drinking water being supplied to thousands of households.

Taking a cue from the 2012 incident in Batala where more than 40 people died after consuming contaminated water that led to the outbreak of gastroenteritis, the state government has started the Punjab Urban Development Mission to provide 100 per cent basic amenities in terms of water supply and sewerage.

The Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development Company (PMIDC) has issued notices to all the civic bodies to install chlorinators or bleaching dozers at every tubewell to provide pure water.

The PMIDC has also mentioned in its guidelines about the need of conducting water-quality test every season (pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon) in a year to avoid outbreak of any water-borne disease.

The urban local bodies will have to appoint an outsourcing agency for taking water samples and conduct two basic tests at one time — chemical and bacteriological test.

The chemical test involves taking water samples from tubewells to test the ratio of required minerals in water while bacteriological test involves taking samples from three different points where one sample is to be taken from the tubewell, second from the consumer end and third from the farthest distance to check if there is any mixing of sewage in water.

It has also been mentioned in the guidelines that these tests should be conducted by the selected agency. The reported data will have to be thoroughly checked and any error has to be rectified.

Ironically, the municipal corporation is following none of the guidelines laid down by the government so far. Most of the bleaching dozers installed at tubewells are out of order.

“We had started injecting bleach in the water manually but the government eventually banned it.

Now, we will put up the issue of chlorination in the MC house and ask to provide us chlorine
liquid,” municipal corporation’s superintending engineer (operation & maintenance wing) PS Jaggi said.

On the issue of water-quality test, he said the MC had invited tenders to appoint an agency to conduct such tests but they quoted Rs. 19 lakh charges for it.

“Since the amount was high, we decided to conduct these tests on our own. As such, we did not conduct any water-quality test but if any problem occurs we test water in that particular area to solve it,” he added.

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