MPs of the Aam Aadmi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party clashed in the Rajya Sabha on Friday over the quality of water in Delhi, PTI reported.
The trouble began when BJP MP Vijay Goel began to talk about the alleged poor quality of water in the national Capital, and AAP MP Sanjay Singh countered him in a loud voice. This prompted an angry response from Rajya Sabha Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu, who said that Singh’s comments should not be put on record or reported. However, Singh continued to speak, following which Naidu said: “Are you the minister to correct it?”
Goel had displayed newspaper articles in the House during the session on Thursday. Naidu asked Goel on Friday not to display such articles, or any other items such as air purifiers, water bottles or pollution masks.
A study by the Bureau of Indian Standards last week found that Delhi had the most unsafe water among 21 major Indian cities. But Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on November 18 claimed that the report was “false and politically motivated” and added that water quality cannot be judged on the basis of just 11 samples.
In his Zero Hour submission on Friday, Goel said quality of water supplied in Delhi is a problem as most households either use ROs to filter it or drink bottled water. He said Delhi needs 3,800 million litres of water a day, but due to a lack of adequate supplies, residents have to rely on borewells.
Goel alleged that 40% of water in the national Capital is being wasted due to leakage and theft, and 25% of households have no piped water connection.
The AAP had earlier this week trashed the report of water samples tested by the Union Consumers Affairs Ministry. Goel said that Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has suggested that teams of officials drawn from the Centre and Delhi government be constituted for collecting samples and testing, which has not yet been done.
Bureau of Indian Standards report is fabricated, claims AAP
Meanwhile, AAP claimed on Friday that the report was “fabricated” to benefit manufactures of reverse osmosis purifiers, PTI reported. AAP National Spokesperson Raghav Chadha also wondered what connection Paswan has with these companies.
“Just before the hearing in the Supreme Court, an atmosphere was created to give the impression that quality of water was bad,” Chadha alleged. “It is BJP and Paswan who raised the issue whether water is fit to drink.”
Chadha demanded that Paswan resign as Union Cabinet Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. He said the report was published because reverse osmosis companies were “upset” that their business would be affected if the people of Delhi were able to directly drink tap water.
Assembly elections in Delhi for all 70 seats are expected to be held early next year.