Delhi assembly rocked on issue of ‘contaminated’ water supply

Last Updated: Thursday, August 29, 2013 - 23:39

New Delhi: Delhi Assembly was on Thursday rocked by BJP`s vociferous attack on the city government for alleged supply of contaminated water to various areas of the city, forcing repeated adjournments and eventually suspension of legislators of the opposition party from the House.
As soon as the House proceedings began, Leader of the Opposition V K Malhotra alleged a number of people have died due to supply of contaminated water and accused the government "shirking" responsibility in providing basic amenities to the citizens.

He alleged a woman from Naraina area died on Tuesday at Deen Dayal Upadhya hospital due to consumption of contaminated water.

The allegation was strongly denied by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit saying 62-year-old Sundara did not die due to any water-borne disease.

"It has been confirmed by the medical reports that Sundara was suffering from low blood pressure and low pulse rate. Hence, the most likely cause of her death could be septicemia and the possibility of haematological malignancy. Had it been due to contaminated water, it would have affected others also," Dikshit said.

Malhotra, particularly attacked Dikshit, who is also chairperson of Delhi Jal Board, accusing her of "total failure" in supplying clean water to the citizens and alleging majority of the people in the city are being supplied contaminated water.

"Three-fourth of the population in the city are not getting water and those who have been supplied water are getting contaminated water," he said, drawing a sharp reaction from Congress MLAs.

As demand by the BJP legislators for an adjournment motion was not heeded to by Speaker Yoganand Shastri, they trouped to the Well of the House shouting anti-government slogans and displaying placards.

Amidst pandemonium, Shastri first adjourned the house for half an hour. When the House resumed, the BJP legislators again trouped to the Well of the House and demanded the resignation of Dikshit leading to another adjournment of half an hour.

When the House met again, the BJP MLAs again created a ruckus, following which the Speaker suspended them from the House.

In her statement, Dikshit said there have been reports of
two deaths due to water contamination but it has been found that in both the cases the persons died due to chronic illness and not because of consumption of water.

"In order to ensure that the water quality is maintained as per BIS standards, IS:10500:2012, DJB lifts an average 9,000 to 10,000 samples per month for testing in its most advanced and reliable laboratories," Dikshit said.

Rejecting BJP`s allegation of supply of contaminated water, Dikshit said the National Environmental Engineering Institute (NEERI) also lifts and tests around 375 samples per month.

"NEERI is an ISO 9001 certified organization. In addition to this, officials of Health Department of Municipalities, along with DJB, lift water sample. The test reports indicate that the water supplied by DJB is potable and free from contamination," Dikshit said.

After being suspended from the House, all the BJP legislators held a protest demonstration in the assembly complex and police detained them for violating prohibitory orders. The MLAs were released later.

"Lakhs of people are falling ill due to consumption of contaminated water. A number of people died due to consumption of contaminated water. This government has totally failed in providing basic facilities to the people," Malhotra alleged.

Asked about death of the 62-year-old woman, sources in Deen Dayal Upadhaya hospital said the she had severe septicemia.

"She was vomitting and also had loose motion. But that was not because of contaminated water. She died on Tuesday night because of severe infection. We have got patients in our hospital who are coming to us with diarrhoea, vomitting and loose motion which is quite normal during this season," they said.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013 - 23:39

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