Delhi water safe for drinking, Sheila Dikshit reiterates

April 11th, 2011 - 3:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 11 (IANS) Even as international health journal Lancet accused the Indian government of “suppressing the truth” about presence of a superbug in the public water system, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Monday reiterated that water in the city was safe for drinking and there was nothing to panic about.

“Please don’t spread panic when there is no panic. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has been saying and I think Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has said that this is not so and water is safe for drinking,” Dikshit told reporters here.

DJB CEO Ramesh Negi said the water quality in the city meets the official standards.

“We are testing the water as per the Bureau of India Standard (BIS) standard and we are following it. Delhi’s water is safe for drinking and quoting the same (Lancet) study, it says chances of this bacteria growing in this water is very less,” he said.

Lancet had recently accused the Indian government of being in denial and “actively suppressing the truth by threatening and abusing their own scientists”.

The journal had last week said that NDM-1, a bacteria with multidrug resistant gene, was found in sewage and drinking water samples in a study done in the city.

“The environmental presence of NDM-1 gene carrying bacteria is not a significant finding since there is no clinical or epidemiological linkage of this finding in the study area,” V.M. Katoch, director of the Indian Council of Medical Research, had said.

Lancet said the New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-1) gene, which makes bacteria resistant to an array of antibiotics, including the most powerful ones, has been found in open water pools, water from overflowing sewage and even a couple of drinking water samples.

Katoch, along with Director General of Health Services R.K. Srivastava, said the study was not a scientific one but targeted India with “other motive”.

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