Millennium Post

Govt told to reply on quality potable water in Railways

Govt told to reply on quality potable water in Railways
A bench of Acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice S Mridul issued notice to the Ministry of Railways seeking its reply by May 14 on the petition by NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL).

CPIL in its plea, filed through advocates Prashant Bhushan and Govind, has also sought ‘an independent and preferably court monitored probe into the neglect of the quality of the drinking water supply, and the manipulations in the award of contracts for supply of chlorination plants for past several years.’

The NGO has contended that while the Indian Railways, having an independent water supply system all over the country, is able to keep trains running by meeting the requirement of water for washing and cleaning of trains, tracks, platforms, etc, it is ‘failing to supply safe and wholesome drinking water to millions of railway passengers and its staff who live in the railway colonies’.

It has alleged that Indian Railway has ‘continued to neglect the quality of water supply for so many years’ as records which have come to light recently show that water quality has been very unsatisfactory for past several years.

The petition also alleges, ‘The water treatment infrastructure for disinfection of water by chlorination has almost completely collapsed and level of contamination in the entire supply network from the source to the top is alarming.

‘Further, there are serious deficiencies in the water quality testing and monitoring on the Railway, with the result that despite an extremely high rate of sample failure in tests of water quality, no action is taken to protect the consumers from risks of water-borne diseases.’
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