The health department will have to ensure that water samples from each government school in the district are sent at least once for lab testing in a year, a letter sent by the assistant project director (school health) mandates.
The letter, addressed to all civil surgeons in the state, adds that considering the rush of samples at the state-level lab in Chandigarh, administration can get samples tested from public health labs and private laboratories.
Sources in the health department said that at present, the health department has been randomly collecting samples of water from many places including of a house, factory, hotel or school. Each block level primary health centre (PHC) has been sending five water samples to state-level laboratory in Chandigarh.
Sources added that in Nawanshahr, there are five block level PHCs, at Balachaur, Mukandpur, Sujjo, Saroya and Muzaffarpur; 60 samples are usually sent in a month. They added that the report would now be available much earlier, with the test being allowed at more labs.
District health officer Garja Singh said that the January 9 letter orders testing of water in each government school once a year.
Nawanshahr School health program
Number of government schools 680
Only 128 water samples taken from April to December 2012
Water samples found fit for drinking 82
Water samples found bacteria contaminated 36