Water samples from as many as 84 government schools in this district have failed, raising a question mark over the administration's concern for the health of students.
The report of the samples taken by the health department in May has shown that the water at 84 schools was found unfit for drinking.
During the survey of water under the school health programme, the health department had collected 489 water samples from schools in which 405 were found fine in the report sent by the school health programme officer to the district health officer recently.
The tests were conducted using hydrogen sulphide kits provided by the water and sanitation department, Chandigarh, at the start of the new session, to conduct tests in all government and affiliated schools in the district.
According to health officials, bacterial contamination was found in most samples.
According to the report, the water at most government schools in Mukandpur and Sujjon towns was declared unfit for human consumption.
The water at 34 schools in Mukandpur, 21 in Sujjon, 18 in Muzaffarpur, four each in Nawanshahr and Balachaur, two in Banga and one in Saroya was declared unfit.
The samples taken from the lone government senior secondary school of Nawanshahr, situated on Chandigarh road, also failed.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, a doctor said it was shocking that despite most schools having water purifiers or reverse osmosis (RO) system, the water samples were declared unfit for human consumption.
The doctor said it was found that most schools had no mechanism, including funds, for proper maintenance of purifiers and RO.
Dinesh Kumar, principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Nawanshahr, said a water purifier was installed in the school recently by a former student. He said they did not receive any funds for the RO or maintenance of purifiers.
District health officer Dr Garja Singh said, "Unsafe water is a serious matter and the report has been sent to the district education officer and executive engineer, water and sanitation, on Wednesday."
He said school authorities had been asked to take necessary measures to provide safe drinking water to students.
"Most primary and secondary schools have the facility of water purifiers in the district," claimed Kulwant Singh, district education officer. He said he was not aware of the report given by the health department and would look into it.