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New Delhi: The name of four Union Territories (UTs), including the national capital Delhi, is missing from the Ministry of Jal Shakti’s list of those states/union territories that have drinking water quality testing laboratories.
Minister of State for Jal Shakti Prahlad Singh Patel said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on February 3, 2022, that as reported by States/Union Territories, so far 2021 drinking water quality testing laboratories at different levels viz. state, district, sub-division and/or block level, have been set up in the country.
The enclosed annexure with the reply has details of 32 states/UTs.
The annexure doesn’t have name of four UTs: Delhi, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, and Lakshadweep.
This creates confusion whether these UTs have not informed the Ministry of Jal Shakti about the number of drinking water quality testing labs, or they really don’t have such facility.
West Bengal has highest number of labs
The written reply of Prahlad Singh Patel also shows that West Bengal has highest number of drinking water testing labs in the country.
In West Bengal, there are a total of 220 drinking water testing labs: one at the state level, 21 at district, 196 at Block/sub–Division levels. The state also operates two Mobile drinking water testing labs.
Maharashtra stands at number two spot with 177 drinking water testing labs, out of which 34 are at district level and 143 at Block/sub–Division level.
With 155 drinking water testing labs, Madhya Pradesh is at number three spot: one at state level, 51 at district and 103 at Block/sub–Division levels.
Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh are three other states that have over 100 drinking water quality testing labs.
Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh have a total of 123, 113, and 112 labs respectively at state, district, and Block/sub-Division levels.
Rajasthan has highest number of Mobile labs
The annexure enclosed by the Ministry of Jal Shakti shows that Rajasthan has highest number of Mobile drinking water quality testing labs.
The state has a total of 54 drinking water quality testing labs. Out of which, one is at state level, 32 at district level and 21 are Mobile labs.
Chhattisgarh stands at number two spot with 18 Mobile drinking water testing labs. The state has a total of 68 drinking water testing labs, out of which one is at state level, and 27 at district and 22 at Block/sub-Division levels.
In terms of Mobile drinking water quality testing labs, Bihar is at number three in the country with 09 labs.
‘8.88 Crore Indian rural households have tap water supply’
The Minister of State for Jal Shakti also informed the Lok Sabha that as of date, out of 19.27 crore rural households in the country, 8.88 crore (46.09%) households are reported to have provision of tap water supply in their homes.
The Minister also said that since 2019, the Union Government in partnership with states/UTs is implementing Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) – Har Ghar Jal scheme to make provision of potable tap water supply in adequate quantity, of prescribed quality and on regular & long-term basis to every rural household by 2024.
To know more, read the Full Press Release issued by the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
(The writer is Editor, Politcs Watch)