The Centre is considering to make the BIS standards on piped drinking water mandatory to ensure safe and quality water to people, and the consumer affairs ministry has written to the jal shakti ministry in this regards.
The proposal comes amid tests conducted by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) on drinking water, which found water quality in Mumbai as per standard but poor in many state capitals, including Delhi.
"The Centre has the power to make BIS standard (on piped drinking water) mandatory. We have already written a letter to the jal shakti ministry to make it mandatory," Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told reporters here.
The minister said his mission is to ensure safe and quality water to people of not only the national capital but across India.
He, however, spoke about the implementation challenge in case BIS standards on piped water are made mandatory. "If states do not follow standards, we cannot ban supply of water."
The BIS is the national standard body established under the BIS Act 2016 for harmonious development of the activities of standardisation, marking and quality certification of goods.
BIS Director General Pramod Kumar Tiwari said that under the BIS Act, there is provision that standards formulated for any products can be made mandatory.
The BIS has sent a draft quality control order to the consumer affairs ministry, proposing that standard on drinking water as a product and standard on entire supply chain or control points should be made mandatory.
To check quality of water, the BIS has conducted two phase of testing and plans two more rounds of sample collection and testing.
In the first phase, the samples of drinking water were drawn from 11 different locations across Delhi and in the second phase, 10 samples were drawn from 10 locations of 20 state capitals.
On November 16, Paswan released the second phase of the BIS study which stated that Delhi along with Kolkata and Chennai failed in almost 10 out of 11 quality parameters for drinking water.
Samples of tap water collected from Mumbai were found to be compliant with the Indian standards for drinking water.
However, other metro cities of Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai failed in almost 10 out of 11 quality parameters tested by the BIS, which is under the aegis of the consumer affairs ministry.
Similarly, samples drawn from 17 other state capitals were not as per the specification 'Indian Standard (IS)-10500:2012' for drinking water.
In the third phase, samples from the capital cities of northeastern states and from 100 smart cities will be tested and their results are expected by January 15, 2020.
While in the fourth phase, it is proposed to test samples from all the district headquarters of the country and the results are expected by August 15, 2020.