Majority of the water samples collected from the city railway station last year failed chlorination and bacteriological test, a reply to Right to Information Act (RTI) has revealed. It was only this year that there is a slight improvement in these samples. Lal Ramesh Bhalla, divisional organising secretary, Uttariya Railway Mazdoor Union, had filed an RTI to find out the report of samples of water the railway department is using.
“Many of our employees were falling sick by drinking water at the railway station. Since all railway workers spend more than eight hours on duty, they drink water from the station during their working hours,” he said.
In fact, some of the passengers also complained about lack of cleanliness in the railway water. But such leniency in handling such a critical issue is not something that we expect from the railways authorities,” Bhalla said.
The February 2014 water sample report says that only 17 out of 94 samples cleared the test.
As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Indian Medical Association standards, not more than 5% of water samples should fail.
“On his visit to the city railway station in March this year, we brought the issue to the notice of the chief medical superintendent of Ferozepur. He had promised to take some steps in this direction,” Bhalla said.
The union had also approached the railway ministry in New Delhi regarding this, he informed. The union leader claimed that water pipelines passed through drain which resulted in water contamination but the authorities were ignoring this.
Similarly, the bacteriological examination of water samples brought out same findings. A total of 34 samples were collected between January 2013 and November 2013 of which 21 were declared unsatisfactory during the examination.
SK Singh, additional divisional railway manager (ADRM), said, “It is a regular procedure and we conduct sampling on monthly basis. Such results come off and on.”