PATNA: Union Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday said his ministry was thinking of making BIS standards mandatory for piped water so that those being supplied with poor quality of water could approach the court for remedial measures.
He said the supply of piped drinking water to every nook and corner in the country was the priority of the Centre.
Addressing a function organized on the occasion of the foundation day of Lok Janshakti Party which he had established nearly two decades ago, Paswan ticked off Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for making "adbhut halla" (fantastic noises) over a survey that found quality of drinking water to be "worst" in the national capital.
The Narendra Modi government has, among its many welfare measures, decided to ensure supply of piped drinking water to every nook and corner in the country.
A similar endeavour is already in place in Bihar where Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has included "har ghar nal kaa jal" as one of the seven promises he made ahead of his current term, Paswan told the gathering.
However, it is not sufficient to merely supply water. It's quality also ought to be ensured.
"The BIS comes under my ministry and we had recently conducted a survey of various cities across more than 20 states in the country, including Lucknow and Patna. The results showed that the best quality of drinking water was in Mumbai while Delhi was the worst", he said.
"And look at so much of halla (noise) being made by Arvind Kejriwal. Adbhut (fantastic) halla he is making. Making noise about providing free drinking water is not sufficient. You have to ensure quality.
"We are therefore in favour of making BIS standards mandatory across the country. People have the right to get safe drinking water and approach the courts if denied the same", he added.
Notably, Paswan and Kejriwal have engaged in a spat ever since the BIS recently came out with its survey which showed that water quality was below par in a majority of the cities.
The Aam Aadmi Party supremo who counts providing 20,000 litres of water a month, free of cost, to every household as one of his main achievements flew into a rage upon finding the mention of Delhi in such cities.
He charged Paswan with trying to "favour companies involved in manufacturing water purifiers" and challenged the centre to conduct a joint survey by BIS and Delhi Jal Board.