Drinking Water Quality

As reported by the States on the online Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, there are 24 State level laboratories, 728 district level laboratories and 1127 sub-district/ block level laboratories in place to monitor the quality of more than 49.93 lakh drinking water sources in rural areas. In addition, as a part of initial screening of drinking water quality and building awareness among the rural people, 3.82 lakh chemical field test kits and 9.17 crore bacteriological vials have been provided so far to the Gram Panchayats for testing water quality by trained grassroots level workers. For this purpose, training has been given to 15.16 lakh grass root level workers. However, considering the need for regular testing of all sources, the increasing number of sources, rising levels of contamination and greater awareness among rural people about water quality, the Ministry has recognized the need to strengthen the infrastructure available for monitoring the quality of drinking water being supplied to the rural areas.

Though drinking water supply is a State subject, Government of India supplements the efforts of the State Governments including Rajasthan, with technical and financial assistance for provision of safe drinking water supply in the rural areas of the country under the centrally sponsored National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP). Under NRDWP, 3% of funds allocated to the States are earmarked for Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance (WQMS) activities on a 100% Central share basis which, inter alia, includes testing of drinking water sources at the Panchayat level by using simple field test kits, setting up of new district/sub-district water quality testing laboratories and upgrading of existing water quality testing laboratories for testing the quality of drinking water sources. As part of technical assistance, chemists from all States are imparted training in National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur. In order to standardize the level of equipment, instrumentation, chemicals, glassware, manpower, space, period and parameters of sampling, a Uniform Drinking Water Quality Monitoring Protocol has been released as a useful reference document for laboratories at all levels. During 2012-13, under the NRDWP- Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance (WQMS) component, Rs. 314.98 crore has been allocated to all States. An amount of Rs. 32.19 crore has been allocated to Rajasthan of which, Rs 7.74 crore has been released. Together with an opening balance of Rs. 10.37 crore as on 1/4/2012, the total available funds with Rajasthan during the current financial year for WQMS is Rs. 18.11 crore.

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Under NRDWP-WQMS component, all States have been advised to set up at least one district level water quality testing laboratory and also set up sub-divisional drinking water quality testing laboratories where required using NRDWP-WQMS funds so that testing of quality of drinking water sources is done periodically

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