GUWAHATI, June 15 – A research conducted by voluntary association Jeevan Initiative has found that drinking water supplied in various government-run institutions in Guwahati are not at all safe for consumption. Of the 10 water samples collected from vital institutions, including two hospitals and three educational institutions, all the samples were found far below the prescribed standards.
The samples collected from Guwahati Railway Station, Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) canteen at Paltan Bazar, Inter-state Bus Terminus (ISBT) canteen, Gauhati Medical College Hospital, Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital, Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra, Latasil Primary School, Guwahati Blind High School, Gauhati University Arts canteen and the court premises of District and Session Judge, Kamrup failed the bacteriological tests conducted by State Public Health Laboratory, Guwahati.
Addressing media persons here, Suresh Ranjan Goduka, editor of the Jeevan magazine said that the water sample tests clearly point out that the provisions of Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 are not being followed in the State. “It is more disturbing that even the patients and students, including the visually challenged students, are being served polluted water,” he added.
In all the water samples tested, high presence of E Coli and Coliform bacteria have been detected which in enough to declare the water unfit for consumption. According to World Health Organization both the bacteria should be totally absent in drinking water.
In drinking water samples collected from ASTC, presence of E Coli was 2,400 MPN/100 ml, which was 1,100 in Railway Station and Blind High School, 240 in University, 150 in ISBT, 44 in District and Sessions Court premises, 43 in GMC Hospital, 21 in Latasil Primary School, 17 in MMCH and 4 in Kalakshetra. The presence of Coliform was very high in the water samples.
Asking the authorities to take the responsibility of serving non-polluted water to the people, the organization members said that a copy of the lab reports would be soon submitted to the State government.
The video footage of the sources from where the water samples were collected were also shown in the press conference.
Samples collected from drinking water facilities of ASTC canteen, Railway Station, MMCH, and court premises were found to be chemically unsatisfactory. The turbidity in water level was also very high.
“The people have already lost faith on the drinking water supplied by the government. Even in the government meetings and functions, packaged drinking water is served to the guests, which indicates that even the government representatives do not trust their drinking water facility. But, it is an injustice to those who cannot afford packaged drinking water,” he added.
Educationist Dr Anil Kr Goswami released the 19-page report prepared by the organization on the lab tests of water samples.