The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought response of the Railways on the steps it has taken and proposes to take to ensure availability of clean and safe drinking water on its trains as well as stations.
A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar issued the direction after the Railways said it has set up chlorination plants to treat the water it was getting from several sources.
The Railways said it was also periodically sending samples of water collected from its stations to accredited laboratories for testing for the presence of bacteria like E.coli.
The HC then asked the lawyer for the Railways to file an affidavit indicating the steps it has taken and proposes to take in future for ensuring clean drinking water on its trains and stations.
The HC was hearing a petition by NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, seeking “an independent and preferably court-monitored probe into the neglect of the quality of the drinking water supply and the manipulations in the award of contracts for supply of chlorination plants for past several years”.
The NGO said the Railways was neither adhering to the standards laid down for drinking water by the Bureau of Indian Standards nor following the Indian Railway Medical Manual.
It said that water being provided on stations and trains ought to be tested at reputed laboratories as not all accredited labs have the facilities to properly test the water samples. The plea has claimed that “the water treatment infrastructure for disinfection of water by chlorination has almost completely collapsed.”