Fluoride Action Network

Crew Complaining About Poor Water Quality? Get It Tested On One-Stop Government Portal

Source: The Logical Indian | August 24th, 2021 | By Tashafi Nazir and Ankita Singh
Location: India

Developed in partnership with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the facility makes one check the test result with just one click while sitting at home. In case any water sample fails the quality test, automated alert is sent to concerned authorities online and then remedial action is taken.

Over the years, drinking water contamination due to geogenic (natural causes) and anthropogenic (human-made) activities has been admitted as a severe public health risk affecting people’s well-being. Consumption of contaminated water has led to severe water-borne diseases in the past.

To combat the issue of poor water quality, the central government under its flagship ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ came up with an online portal earlier this year. The facility allows the common people to get their water flowing from the household taps and get tested at the nearest government affiliated laboratory by paying a nominal fee. The Water Quality Management Information System (WQMIS) portal has received 4.9 lakh samples for water quality testing as of July 2021.

Developed in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the facility makes one check the test result with just one click while sitting at home. If any water sample fails the quality test, an automated alert is sent to concerned authorities online, and remedial action is taken. Gram Panchayat or its sub-committee, i.e. Village Water and Sanitation Committee or Paani Samiti operate and maintain the water supply facilities formed under ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’.

Accessible To Rural And Urban Areas

Once testing is completed, it has been made mandatory for the laboratories to upload the result on the WQMIS portal. Till now, about 2000 government laboratories have been registered with the WQMIS portal. However, the ministry has made it mandatory for all government-funded laboratories to register with WQMIS. Such laboratories are reachable to the public in urban and rural areas, contrary to the ‘Nal Se Jal’ scheme, which provides access to the village population only.

Reportedly, a total of 9.41 lakh water samples have been received at the 2001 active laboratories across the country till August 22, out of which 7.27 lakh samples have been tested and around 50,000 are contaminated. Remedial action has been taken in 1,169 cases so far. On an average basis, the portal registers 12,000 water samples and is being tested daily.

Also, five women in each village are being trained to test the water quality daily using Field Test Kits. If the sample is found to be contaminated, the gram panchayat can inform the authorities to initiate action.

Contaminated Water In 20 States: Assessment

About 20 states in India have their drinking water contaminated with fluoride, arsenic and other heavy metals. As per an assessment in 2018, 52 per cent of all blocks in India had a minimum of one of the geogenic contaminants.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Jal Jeevan Mission on August 15, 2019. Under this mission, which is estimated at the cost of 3.60 lakh Crore tap water connection will be provided to every rural household in India by 2024. In just 23 months, the scheme successfully achieved the historic milestone by providing tap connections to every household in one lakh villages and 50 thousand gram panchayats.

*Original article online at https://thelogicalindian.com/good-governance/get-water-quality-tested-at-one-stop-government-portal-30374