A chilled glass of water to bring you respite from Delhi’s sweltering heat for as low as Rs 2 has been considered a blessing in disguise by many who use public transport to get around everyday. Waiting at a bus stop at scorching 40 degree plus temperatures is what many in Delhi have to deal with for months at length, and a cold glass of water offers much needed relief. But what if we told you that the glass of water is inducting a health hazard free of charge?
Shocking findings came to the fore after the North Delhi Municipal Corporation conducted an inspection of 572 licensed water trolleys under its jurisdiction and found that all of them were violating health norms and are selling water unfit for consumption, reported The Indian Express. There are 1,623 such trolleys in the national capital.
A meeting was called by a special standing committee meeting to deliberate and review preparations to tackle water-borne diseases during monsoon in Delhi and the details were presented there. Civic body officials used a machine that changes colour if chlorine content is up to the mark. Officials check whether potassium permanganate has been used as a disinfectant to clean glasses during an inspection of water trollies. According to the WHO, the maximum amount of chlorine allowed in drinking water is 5 mg/l. Sellers found violating norms are fined Rs 500.
“How are officials imposing fine and allowing such trollies to function? They will be back in business and continue selling water unfit for human consumption,” wondered official Mukesh Goyal.
“Common sense says there should be repeated action to see if the vendor is continuing to violate health norms. If so, the corporation should take strict action on repeat offenders,” North corporation commissioner Madhup Vyas said.
The NDMC move comes after the Delhi High Court had voiced concern earlier this year over the sale of refrigerated water through unlicensed water trolleys, and directed the municipal corporations along with the city police to stop the illegal activity at the earliest. A bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar asked the police to provide required assistance to the all the municipal corporations in removing such unauthorised trolleys.
“The dirty water is a health hazard which can cause jaundice and diarrhoea. These people don’t even wash their hands. You go to ITO and see the people who sell fruit juice. They keep the ice on the pavements on which people have urinated. The water which is being used for ice formation is dirty,” the bench had observed.