Test water sources to ensure potable water in villages, Centre issues advisory to states amid Covid surge

Express News Service
NEW DELHI: In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, the Centre has directed states to undertake water quality monitoring & surveillance (WQM&S) activities to ensure drinking water to every rural home and public institution across country.

“In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, criticality of public health, including preventive action, is well understood, making safe drinking water, improved sanitation and better hygiene a prerequisite for improved public health. Further, a number of water-borne diseases can be prevented with regular water quality testing and timely remedial action,” the advisory stated.

The advisory by the National Jal Jeevan Mission (NJJM) urged that water quality monitoring and surveillance will not only save people, especially children, from falling sick but also be helpful in saving precious lives.

With a view to empower the local community on water quality surveillance, States have been advised to identify and train 5 persons, especially women in each village from the local community, viz. ASHA workers, health workers, VWSC/ Pani Samiti members, teachers, SHG members, etc., to conduct water quality tests using bacteriological vials at village level, schools and anganwadi centres. FTKs/ vials are procured and provided to every Panchayat to enable them conduct tests on a regular basis.

The advisory also stated that every state is to have at least one State/ UT level laboratory and region-wise laboratories in bigger States/ UTs so that all nearby sources are tested regularly. Similarly, all districts to have a district-level laboratory and setting up of the same to be accorded highest priority.

Further, all laboratories are to be opened for the public to test their water samples at a nominal rate. This will instill confidence in the public on the quality of water supplied and the demand for water purification devices will be curtailed.