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Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

‘I dare you’: Ram Vilas Paswan to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal over report on ‘undrinkable’ water

All water samples taken from Delhi failed on all 19 parameters, pushing the Capital’s ranking to last. Fourteen other states, too, failed in all parameters.

india Updated: Nov 18, 2019 19:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Union minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan.
Union minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
         

Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan and a number of BJP leaders have hit out at Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in an escalating war of words over the “poor” quality of drinking water in the Capital.

The acrimonious exchange was over a study released by the Centre on Saturday that said Mumbai was the only city whose tap water met the piped drinking water quality standards set by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), while Delhi’s was “undrinkable”.

“Tests were conducted on various parameters such as organoleptic and physical tests, chemical test, toxic substances and bacteriological tests in the first stage,” Union minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan, had tweeted on Saturday.

All water samples taken from Delhi failed on all 19 parameters, pushing the Capital’s ranking to last. Fourteen other states, too, failed in all parameters.

Kejriwal’s said the report was “false and politically motivated”.

And, on Monday the Union minister accused the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader of doing politics and challenged him to prove the report wrong.

“You cannot drink tap water directly. At many places, water comes in all sorts of colours, yellow, blue... Name your officials for a team which will also have top BIS officials. Let them go to any area, pick samples and get them tested from any lab,” Paswan said while speaking in Parliament.

Posters criticising the AAP government for forcing people to drink “poisonous” water were seen in some parts of the national capital on Sunday.

“Arvind Kejriwal is making residents of Delhi drink poison in the name of free water. A survey in 20 cities in the country found the water of Delhi to be most poisonous,” Union health minister Harsh Vardhan tweeted along with the picture of one such poster on Sunday.

“The Aam Aadmi Party, which makes tall claims on development, has failed to provide clean water to the people,” Harsh Vardhan added.

Kejriwal then tweeted his response to the Union health minister’s charge.

“Sir, you are a doctor. You know this a false report and is influenced by politics. People like you should not become a part of the dirty politics,” the chief minister posted.

Northeast Delhi’s member of Parliament and BJP leader Manoj Tiwari also reacted to Kejriwal’s response.

“@ArvindKejriwal ji, you are lying to reporters. You can’t escape now by speaking lies to all. You have been exposed. You have ensured only dirty water in the last five years... #DilliKaPaniZehrila,” he tweeted.

BJP leader Shazia Ilmi, who was earlier with the AAP, also joined in.

“When you have been exposed, the report is untrue. The AAP is a master in telling lies and indulging in dirty politics. Delhi needs clean water and clean politics. Till when will you force Delhi people to drink dirty water and make them sick!” Ilmi said.

Several residents of Delhi also shared photographs and videos of the water supplied by the Delhi Jal Board on the Twitter with hashtag #DilliKaPaniZehrila, which trended on Monday.