AAP claims water quality report fabricated to benefit RO companies, demands Paswan's resignation

New Delhi, Nov 22 (PTI) The BJP 'fabricated' a BIS report on the water quality in Delhi in order to benefit manufactures of RO purifiers, the Aam Aadmi Party claimed, demanding the resignation of Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan on 'moral grounds' over the issue.

The party further questioned whether there was a nexus between RO companies and Bharatiya Janata Party along with Lok Janshakti Party.

Paswan had earlier said he will only the answer charges of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. 'I do not pay heed to what the other AAP leaders are saying,' he had tweeted.

AAP national spokesperson Raghav Chadha claimed the report which stated that Delhi water failed quality tests was presented to create an atmosphere in favour of the RO companies and alleged it was a false report.

'Just before the hearing in the Supreme Court, an atmosphere was created to give the impression that quality of water was bad. It is the BJP and Paswan who raised the issue whether water is fit to drink,' Chadha said.

The Centre and the city government have been trading charges since Paswan released on November 16 a Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) report, according to which Delhi has the most unsafe water among 21 major Indian cities.

Chadha demanded Paswan's resignation on 'moral grounds' and asserted that the RO companies were 'upset' as their business would get hurt if the water in Delhi could be directly consumed from taps. He claimed it was why the government was trying to safeguard them.

Chadha was referring to a petition being heard by the Supreme Court. It was filed by Water Quality India Association, representing the RO manufacturers, challenging an order of the NGT which had directed the government to regulate the use of purifiers and sensitise public about the ill effects of demineralised water.

Chadha said there are seven instances that indicate that the Centre is working to benefit the RO companies.

'These will prove that after the ban on the use of ROs by the NGT, senior ministers in the government have stirred panic and tried to create an atmosphere of fear for the people of Delhi regarding the water quality,' he said.

He said that the RO companies got scared when in May, the NGT instructed the central government to issue notifications prohibiting the use of RO systems where TDS in water is less than 500 mg/l.

'The RO companies moved the Supreme Court challenging the ban on RO purifiers. Paswan ropes in Bureau of Indian Standard to audit the water quality of Delhi. Before this audit, the BIS has never done any such audit on the water quality in its history of existence,' he claimed.

There is a 30-member 'Water Purification Sub-Committee' which handles all 'water-related issues' that come under BIS and all the members of this sub-committee are from water purifier companies and each of them have at least two members in the sub-committee, Chadha said.

'Just after publishing of the report, which is a week before the hearing of the Supreme Court on the matter of the RO ban, the BJP created an atmosphere of fear about the water quality of Delhi. All the BJP leaders propagated the findings of this fudged, fabricated and motivated report and claimed that the water quality of Delhi is dangerous,' he said.

On the first day of hearing in the Supreme Court, the lawyer representing the RO companies presented the same BIS report and urged the court to lift on the 'ban' on sale of RO purifiers in Delhi, he said.

'I want to know from Paswan whether these are mere coincidences? Or is this circumstantial evidence that establishes his relationship with RO companies? Is there a nexus between the RO companies and the BJP-LJP, since these parties seem to be working for the benefit of these RO companies,' said Chadha.

He also asked if this conspiracy was engineered to influence the Supreme Court hearing because just a week before the hearing this 'whole conspiracy' came in front of the people and an atmosphere of fear was created.

Chadha raised questions about the relationship between Paswan and the RO companies.

'Did Paswan have any meeting with the owners or officers of the RO companies? Did Paswan ask his party workers to collect the water samples for preparation of this fabricated report? If yes, was it done only to promote the interest of RO companies,' he asked.

He questioned whether the LJP and BJP leaders held regular press conferences on the issue to promote the business of RO companies.

'Did Paswan assign the exercise to the BIS knowing fully that the biggest RO and water purifies companies are members of the 'water purification sub-committee' of BIS? Did he think that an independent examination is possible knowing this fact,' he asked.

'Is there a commercial understanding or any sort of deal between senior ministers and RO companies,' he asked. PTI UZM AAR