Tap water in Delhi is the most unsafe for drinking among several metro cities and state capitals, a government study has found.
The study was released on Saturday by Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan.
According to the findings, the only state capital found to have drinkable tap water was Mumbai.
Here are more details.
Study examined tap water samples from 21 cities
The study was conducted by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the National Standards Body working under the aegis of the Consumer Affairs Ministry.
In the first phase of the study, tap water samples were collected from across Delhi, followed by 20 state capitals in the second phase.
The study was done in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Jal Jeevan Mission, Paswan said.
Received complaints regarding water from across country: Paswan
Speaking at a press conference, Paswan explained, "We were getting complaints regarding water from all over the country."
He added, "We asked for some samples of water from Delhi. The tap water from Delhi did not meet the Indian Standards. Later, we asked for water samples from all state headquarters."
The samples were tested as per the 'Indian Standard (IS)-10500:2012' specification for drinking water.
All 11 tap water samples collected from Delhi failed
According to The Indian Express, 11 samples were collected across Delhi including Paswan's own official residence at 12 Janpath and Krishi Bhawan in Lutyens' Delhi, along with other regions including Nandnagari, Sonia Vihar, Pitampura, Ashok Nagar, and Burari.
All 11 samples failed to meet 19 parameters including odor, TDS, PH, turbidity, color, nitrate, ammonia, chloride and aluminum, the publication reported.
Organoleptic, physical and chemical parameters tested
The study examined organoleptic, physical and chemical parameters besides toxic substances and bacteriological quality. Although the IS prescribes 48 parameters, radioactivity and free residual chlorine tests were excluded from the study, IANS reported. The ministry said a minimum limit has been prescribed for chlorine.
Here's how the other 20 cities fared
Among the 21 cities, Mumbai topped the rankings, with all 10 tap water samples tested found safe for drinking.
Meanwhile, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Ranchi, Raipur, Amravati, and Shimla failed on one or more parameters of the IS.
Further, all tap water samples collected from 13 cities- Chandigarh, Guwahati, Bengaluru, Gandhinagar, Lucknow, Jammu, Jaipur, Dehradun, Chennai, Kolkata- failed to comply with the requirements of the IS.
'Water quality standard should be made mandatory'
"Most children fall sick due to water-related diseases. The water quality standard is not mandatory. It should be made mandatory. We have also asked the chief ministers of states to order an investigation into it," Paswan was quoted as saying by ANI.
Third phase of study already underway, ministry said
The third phase of the study is underway, in which samples from the capitals of Northeastern states and SmartCities identified by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs are being tested, an official release stated. The findings are expected by January 15, 2020.
The fourth phase will involve testing across all the district headquarters. The results will be published by August 15, 2020.