STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 11 July
The residents of Kishangarh who have been forced to drink contaminated water for the past two months, lost their patience against the apathetic attitude of Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and staged a protest at the agency’s office in Vasant Kunj today.
They alleged that they had beenreceiving dirty water for the last two months despite several complaints made to the authorities.
Today, as the news broke out that a person died and several others had fallen ill in Rajokari village after consuming contaminated water, several people including women gathered at DJB office and started sloganeering against the staff.
"Yesterday, a person from Rajokari village died after drinking contaminated water. Two others had died in the NCERT Colony but still many colonies in south Delhi are receiving dirty water," said a resident.
Many blamed it on faulty pipelines. "Hard water is eating pipelines. Blocked pipes was a recurring problem in the area for the past two years, contamination was recent. Delhi is called Metro City and the national capital but people are not getting drinking water in many areas which is also leading to deaths and serious illness. Is the government waiting for similar cases like Rajokari and NCERT colonies to happen?" asked Narendra Khatri, Corporation Councilor.
However, DJB officials said that water being supplied by the board is potable and free of any contamination. "Since 17 million people are served through a large network of about 14,000 km long transmission and distribution pipelines, DJB’s Treatment and Quality Control (DTQC) wing immediately lifted water samples for testing from the area and the water was found to be potable and safe for human consumption," said a DJB official.
It has also pressed into service additional tankers in the areas. "Samples of water from the tube-wells tested on 11.07.2013 have shown that the water is of good quality. Also the residents have been advised to take water from DJB tankers," added the official. The unauthorized settlement of JJ Cluster, BSF camp located at Rajokari Pahari consists of about 500 JJ hutments. According to DJB, to meet the water needs of the residents, DJB has installed 4 tube-wells at nearby locations from where water is provided through public water hydrants.
The DJB clarifies that it lifts 9000-10,000 samples per month only from the distribution network and also declared that water is tested for physico-chemical and bacteriological parameters. "This figure does not include the samples tested for continuous surveillance at treatment plants. The number of samples tested from the distribution network is further raised to a minimum of 12,000 samples during the Monsoon season," added the official.