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Not even a safe drop to drink

The tragedy in which dirty drinking water has killed two and made 50 ill in a South Delhi colony highlights the lack of quality of basic civic amenities in the city. It is extremely unfortunate that these deaths have taken place. They are due to the negligence of the authorities and could have been avoided. The deaths and the illnesses are due to diarrhea and severe stomach infection which is because of water contamination which is due to the lack of care of the concerned authorities. Yet once again the different authorities involved in the distribution of water such as the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and the Centre Public Works Department are busy evading the blame and in shifting the responsibility for the contaminated water. Chief minister Sheila Dixit has completely denied the role of her government and of the Delhi Jal Board, of which she is the chairperson, in the deaths, though the responsibility to supply potable water to the public belongs to them. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) had warned about two years ago that the water being supplied by the DJB was contaminated with sewer waste and was endangering the lives of millions in the city. The municipal agency had said at that time that the majority of the population in the city had received potentially hazardous water and at least half of Delhi lacked properly treated drinking water.

As the deaths show, the government of the state has quite evidently not taken heed of this warning and has not acted upon it. The MCD had tested the water for purity last year in June as well and found that a shocking 81 out of 116 of the water samples, which represents nearly 70 per cent of the water supply was contaminated.  The water supply in Delhi is contaminated by various bacteria, including E coli, which causes serious diseases. It is the DJB which is responsible for the treatment and supply of drinking water in Delhi. The onus of supplying safe drinking water to consumers lies on it which it has not been fulfilling. It is condemnable that the state of the water supply in the capital of India, where millions live, should be so abysmal. The government must not evade its responsibility in the tragedy in south Delhi and do its utmost to give the residents of Delhi a safe drinking water supply.

MPost

MPost

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