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One-third of Delhi depended on ROs for drinking water, 14% on bottles



Forty eight-year-old Manohar Lal, a resident of south Delhi’s Sangam Vihar, buys three-four cans of drinking water daily for his family of six. Despite the Delhi government’s claims of water in the city from water treatment plants (WTP) being “fit to drink”, Lal says he does not want to take any chances with his family’s health.

“I have three children and even though we are not rich, the health of my family is of utmost importance. Each canister costs me Rs 35, but that will at least save me medical bills,” he said Friday.

A National Statistical Office’s (NSSO) latest report shows that Delhi tops the list of 36 states and union territories in the use of electric water purifiers, with 36.5% households in the capital relying on purifiers to treat drinking water. The report also shows that in the National Capital, bottled water was the second principal source of drinking water. This means that nearly 14% of Delhiites depend on packaged drinking water at home.

Agreeing with fears such as those voiced by Lal and the findings of the NSSO report, Sushant Giri, a resident of Vasant Kunj’s B-Block said trusting the Delhi Jal Board’s (DJB) promises of clean water provided at household taps was difficult mainly because of the state of the rivers, which are the primary source of water for the city. “Look at the state of the Yamuna and Ganga. How much can technology clean them?” he said, adding that he has a water purifier installed at his house since over 15 years now.

The recent controversy questioning the purity of Delhi’s drinking water has also cautioned many. While a Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) report had failed Delhi in almost ten out of 11 quality parameters of drinking water, the Delhi government and the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have called the findings “false and politically motivated”.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had, in May this year, directed the ministry of environment and forests to frame rules for the manufacture and sale of ROs (water purifiers using reverse osmosis) and banned the use of ROs in areas where the total dissolved solids (TDS) in water was under 500mg/litre. Moderate to high levels of TDS?(above 500mg/litre) not only change the taste of the water but also pose health hazards.

The green court had said that the use of RO filters results in “unnecessarily rejecting 80% of potable water”. The Supreme Court also refused to stay this ban in an appeal heard this month.

“I don’t know who to trust. If there is a conclusive and trustworthy test of the city’s water quality and proving its purity then maybe in a few years perceptions will change, but on most days in our locality the tap water is dirty and smelly. It cannot be used for other household chores even, let alone for drinking,” said Sudha Shankaran, a resident of RK Puram.

The DJB, however, is confident water from the WTPs can be consumed right from taps. DJB vice chairperson Dinesh Mohaniya said before his government, Delhiites received muddy and unclean water for many years. There is also a psychological block that you cannot drink tap water directly, he added. “I can confidently say treated water in Delhi is drinkable but we need to really work with people till they can confidently drink from their taps. A lot depends on perception and fear of their health; things are also being made worse by political ill-will of other parties,” said Mohaniya.

Experts said in the WTP, the water is cleaned after which poly-aluminium chloride and alum is mixed to remove mud and dirt. But this is no guarantee that people are getting clean water in the end. Though independent tests have proved Delhi’s water is cleaner compared to other states, there is a fear it may be contaminated by the time it reaches households, they said.

“Agencies will have to work a lot on distribution infrastructure before they can gain people’s trust. Though water from WTPs is drinkable, there are ways it can get contaminated when it reaches taps,” said Dr Prabhakaran Reddy, senior researcher, IIT-Delhi.

He, however, also said that while people think that RO filters can solve all drinking water problems, excess purification also has its disadvantages. “Over-purification can cause some essential minerals to be killed. It is not advised in areas where you get quality-tested water,” he added.



Do you want electric buses to operate in your neighborhood too? Send your suggestions here.



Image Source: PTI

A survey is being conducted in Delhi to initiate small-sized electric neighborhood buses on congested roads. The Delhi Transport Department has commenced an extensive ground survey to determine suitable routes for neighborhood bus services in different areas of Delhi. This survey will run from June 1st to June 15th, with 23 technical teams deployed in various locations across Delhi for study purposes.

Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot stated that the Delhi government has never purchased more than 2000 feeder buses before this initiative. The 9-meter buses will operate on routes where 12-meter buses are unable to reach. Delhi residents can also share their feedback and suggestions regarding the neighborhood buses at mohallabusfeedback [at]

To ensure the inclusion of public suggestions, teams have been formed by the Transport Department to gather insights from the people of Delhi. This will guarantee that all significant routes are covered by these neighborhood buses.

The technical teams involved in the survey will visit metro stations, bus terminals, bus stops, and different areas of Delhi. The survey will focus on the following four aspects:

  1. Assessment of travel demand: The survey teams will examine last-mile connectivity in each area and study the transportation needs of the general public for such connectivity.
  2. Road network: The survey teams will assess road width, encroachments, and obstacles encountered during bus operations.
  3. Public transport connectivity: All teams will determine the distance travelers need to cover to reach public transport. A Pakistani team will also investigate the availability of other public transport options in the area.
  4. Para-transit connectivity: The availability of options such as e-rickshaws, auto-rickshaws, and other para-transit services in specific areas will also be surveyed.

According to the information received from the Transport Department, the data collected during this survey will be digitized. It will be used to determine the origin and destination of proposed neighborhood bus services in each area. Additionally, the survey aims to identify potential routes that will benefit the maximum number of passengers through neighborhood buses.

It should be noted that Kailash Gahlot, Delhi’s Finance Minister, who also serves as the Transport Minister, announced the Neighborhood Bus Plan in the budget speech. The objective of this plan is to deploy 9-meter-long electric buses to provide local or feeder bus services. The Kejriwal government has planned to operate a total of 2,180 such buses by 2025. The neighborhood buses will be specifically operated in those areas of Delhi where road width is limited or regular operation of 12-meter buses is difficult due to congestion.

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Delhi’s Coolest May in 36 Years: Record-Breaking Temperatures and Abundant Rainfall



Image: PTI

Delhi has recently witnessed a remarkable drop in temperatures during the month of May, marking it as the coolest May in the past 36 years. This significant shift can be attributed to the abundant rainfall that showered the city over the course of two weeks.

Surprisingly, Delhi encountered an unusual 11 days of rainfall, which is quite uncommon for this hot summer month. Data provided by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) reveals that the average maximum temperature recorded in May this year was 36.8 degrees Celsius, the lowest since 1987. It is worth mentioning that in May 1987, the Safdarjung weather station recorded an even lower average maximum temperature of 36 degrees Celsius, according to IMD scientist Kuldeep Srivastava.

To put things into perspective, the average maximum temperature in May last year was a scorching 40.1 degrees Celsius. The stark contrast in temperatures this year can be attributed to the five active western disturbances that affected the northwest plains of India. Srivastava highlighted that while the region usually experiences two to three western disturbances during this period, this year marked the fifth one.

Delhi received a staggering 111 mm of rainfall in May, which was 262 percent above the normal average of 30.7 mm for the month. The city has also witnessed above-normal rainfall in March, April, and May, accumulating a total of 184.3 mm during the pre-monsoon season. This figure represents an excess of 186 percent compared to the average of 64.4 mm.

Furthermore, the Safdarjung weather station did not record any instances of a heatwave throughout May, although other weather stations in the vicinity reported heatwave conditions. The copious rainfall and gusty winds not only provided relief from the scorching heat but also improved Delhi’s air quality. On Wednesday, the Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 85, falling under the ‘satisfactory’ category. In contrast, on May 23, when there was no rainfall, the AQI soared to 198, according to data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Remarkably, data from the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) shows that the average PM10 and PM2.5 levels from January to May this year have been the second lowest since 2016. The lowest levels were observed in 2020 due to the summer lockdown.

In conclusion, Delhi’s unusual weather patterns in May, marked by the lowest temperatures in over three decades and abundant rainfall, have brought relief from the scorching heat and improved air quality in the city.

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Delhi Government Introduces Small Electric ‘Mohalla Buses’ for Improved Public Transport.



Image: PTI

The Delhi government is taking a big step towards improving the city’s public transportation system by introducing small-sized electric “Mohalla Buses” on the streets. To make sure they identify the areas where these buses are needed and determine the best routes for them, the Transport Department has launched a comprehensive 15-day evaluation campaign. Starting from Thursday, teams of experts will be deployed in different areas until June 15 to conduct the study.

This means that soon we’ll have these convenient and eco-friendly buses operating throughout Delhi! Isn’t that exciting?

But that’s not all! The government has also come up with a plan to purchase over 2,000 feeder buses. These buses will serve routes where the regular 12-meter buses can’t go. So, it will make traveling much more convenient for all the bus commuters out there!

To ensure that they cover all the important areas and connect the major attractions in the city, They are forming teams across Delhi to gather feedback from the people. Their input will help them determine the most suitable routes for these Mohalla Buses. After all, They want to make sure that everyone benefits from this new and improved public transport system!

So get ready, Delhiites! Exciting changes are on the horizon, making your daily commute more comfortable and sustainable.

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