Yet to launch special squads to check quality of drinking water
Makeshift mechanisms to check quality of water being distributed in tanker lorries have failed to assuage the concers of Kochi residents.
Even days after the district administration started acting against violators, fears of polluted water being transported in these vehicles continue to worry Kochiites.
Tests conducted at the Government Regional Analytical Laboratory at Kakkanad and the Food Quality Monitoring Laboratory under the Council for Food Research and Development in Konni recently had found faecal coliform bacteria or E.coli in wells located in Churnikara panchayat, Eloor, Aluva and Kalamassery.
District Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareeth said there was a proposal to launch special squads to check distribution of contaminated water. But they were yet to form these teams. Directions had been given to set up taluk-based squads, he said.
Mr. Pareeth made it clear that tanker lorry owners would not be allowed to collect water from sources that were not certified by the health wing. He said there was no shortage of water at the storage facilities of the Kerala Water Authority at Aluva and North Paravoor from where tanker lorries could collect drinking water for supply in the city and other places. The District Collector said the other collection points of the KWA include Thammanam, Muppathadam and Choondi.
Senior officials of the Food Safety wing said inspection of tanker lorries would be carried out after they receive reports of violation of guidelines issued by the Food Safety Commissioner regarding the quality of water and the manner in which it was transported.
They said there were no permanent special squads to check such incidents. The Food Safety Commissioner had also directed the Kerala Water Authority to supply drinking water only to tanker lorries that had food safety licence and adhere to the norms.
However, the Kerala State Pollution Control Board is not part of any special squad to check tanker lorries.
A board official of the water authority said they could be part of such drives only on the basis of requests made by the health wing.
The public may call up the Food Safety wing at toll-free number 1800 425 1125 if they notice drinking water being supplied in an unsanitary manner or in violation of the food safety norms.