Two-thirds of households in India drink untreated and unsafe water, according to a report published by the NSO (The National Statistical Office) and just about 8% boil it. This, in itself, should be a pointer in the quality of drinking water – a human right recognised by the UN Assembly a decade ago that is a fundamental requirement for all of us to lead healthy, productive lives. Hence the question arises – how is that, even in this scenario, that there is a minimum level of quality and assurance maintained, especially for drinking water in a country of presently 1.37 billion? Here is where the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) steps in with its Standards for Drinking Water. A 25- member organization, headquartered in New Delhi with regional offices in Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Chandigarh, the BIS is supported by the Ministry of Consumer affairs, Food & Public distribution and the Government of India.
The core roles and responsibilities of BIS
- Establishing the guidelines for standardization.
- Ensuring the quality and reliability of goods.
- Lessening health hazards
When it comes to the water you drink, cleanse yourself with and cook, the Bureau of Indian Standards has laid out the acceptable & healthy standards for the water an Indian citizen is entitled to, in its Indian Standard for Drinking Water (IS 10500) in 1983. This report underwent a transition in the year 2012 in which it prescribed certain parameters that qualify the water one uses is suitable.