In debate over Delhi water quality, Paswan’s challenge to Arvind Kejriwal
The Union minister and Kejriwal have been involved in a war of words over water quality in the city after Paswan shared findings of a BIS study, which suggested that Delhi’s tap water had failed quality tests.Updated: Nov 21, 2019 17:52 IST
Union consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday dared Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to make Bureau of India Standards (BIS) mandatory if he thinks water supplied in the national capital is 100% pure, news agency PTI reported.
The Union minister and Kejriwal have been involved in a war of words over water quality in the city after Paswan shared findings of a BIS study, which suggested that Delhi’s tap water had failed quality tests. According to the study, Delhi, along with Kolkata and Chennai, failed in almost 10 out of 11 quality parameters of drinking water.
He took a swipe at Kejriwal for targeting the study. “I haven’t done quality check, country’s reputed institution Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has done it. BIS has developed around 25,000 quality standards for various products and services ,” Paswan said at a press conference.
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Kejriwal had questioned the credibility of the study and said that Paswan was misleading people. He dared Paswan to share addresses from where the water samples were collected.
“You [Ram Vilas Pawan] claimed that your officials collected samples from certain residences, the individuals residing there said otherwise. They said that they are satisfied with the quality of water in their residence. How could you lie? How can a Union minister be so misleading?” Kejriwal tweeted.
The issue has now become a tussle between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the party in power in Delhi, and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the ruling dispensation at the Centre.
The AAP has demanded Paswan’s resignation for misleading people with a “fraudulent” report.
BJP workers carrying water samples protested near Kejriwal’s residence in Delhi on Thursday. Party leaders plan to meet the CM and offer him drinking water collected from 500 places.
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan has said that BIS is a reputed organisation known for its expertise and Kejriwal’s comments are an “insult”.
“Arvind Kejriwal is the chairperson of the Delhi Jal Board. It is for his negligence that millions of children in Delhi are suffering in hospitals after drinking polluted water… For fault in pipelines polluted water reach residences in Delhi. Being a doctor, I know how dangerous that can be. Kejriwal is being ignorant of that and indulging in dirty politics,” Vardhan tweeted.
Kejriwal wrote to Paswan on Wednesday nominating Delhi Jal Board (DJB) vice-chairman Dinesh Mohaniya and member Shalabh Kumar Sharma for the joint committee to be formed by the Union government to test water quality in the national capital.
Paswan challenged Mohaniya’s nomination and said the nominee should be a “non-political” individual. Mohaniya is an AAP MLA from Sangam Vihar constituency. Paswan said the Centre has nominated two senior officials of BIS for the committee.