The water at most of the places in Dehradun is not drinkable as the levels of absorbed chlorine, hardness and coliform in it are much higher than the norms, a city-based NGO claimed in a report recently.
Ninety per cent of 125 samples of water collected from Dehradun and adjoining areas were found unfit for drinking, the Society of Pollution and Environmental Conservation Scientists (SPECS) said in its latest report.
Water samples collected even from residences and offices of ministers, MLAs and state officials were not found to be in accordance with norms, SPECS secretary Brij Mohan Sharma said.
SPECS volunteers collected water samples going door to door and they were tested in the NGO's laboratory provided by the Science and Technology department of the government of India, he said.
Working on the quality of drinking water since 1990, SPECS has been running a campaign named "drinking water to all".
Water in Dehradun mostly is not drinkable due to super chlorination at some places or high presence of fecal coliform or hardness at others, the NGO said.
The permissible limit of absorbed chlorine in drinking water is 0.2 mg per litre, but at 53 places in the city, it was beyond that limit, Sharma said.
At six places, its content in drinking water was found to be much higher than the permissible limit. These include residences of cabinet ministers Satpal Maharaj and Ganesh Joshi, where it was 1.4 mg per litre and 1.2 mg per litre respectively, the report said.
The level of absorbed chlorine in drinking water at the residence of Dehradun's district magistrate and that of the mayor was found to be 1.2 mg per litre, it said.
At 10 places in the city, chlorine content in drinking water was less than the normal, whereas it was nil at 49 places, including the residence of the district judge, the NGO said.
At 33 places, coliform content in drinking water was found to be much higher than the permissible limit of 10 mpn per 100 millilitre. Fecal coliform was also found to be much higher than the permissible limit of zero mpn per 100 millilitre at five places and beyond it at 33 places, the report said.
Excessive and prolonged consumption of chlorine leads to shrinking of skin and greying of hair, Sharma said, adding that it may even cause ulcers and cancer.
Hardness in drinking water does not just contribute to ageing of the skin and hair but also causes stones in the gall bladder, besides affecting the liver, pancreas, eyes and the digestive system badly.
Consumption of water contaminated by fecal coliform can cause various diseases, he said.