Indian Railways has been accused of supplying contaminated water at railway stations, train coaches and railway colonies which is inadequate for human use. As there was no improvement in the quality of water since last five years, Center for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) filed a petition in the Delhi High Court.
The quality of water can be determined by Total Coliform Bacteria (TCB). According to the guidelines stipulated in the National Water Quality Protocol of 2012, if (TCB) levels are found 10% or above, it is requisite to conduct advance test to observe the presence of pathogens.
Reports stated that an internal test has been conducted to test water quality by the Indian Railways in the Ferozpur division of the Northern Railways. Indian Railways found the presence of 20% of TCB in the year of 2012-13. Meanwhile the curve have declined to 19% in 2015-16 according to an official document. But in the period from August 2017 to 2018, TCB rose again up-to 20% but placed as 19 %.
Railways admitted that out of 632 chlorination plant, 275 are non-functional. Railways were unable to set up laboratories to carry out advanced water quality tests at the divisional or zonal levels . This implies that railways has been supplying untreated water to its platforms, trains and colonies.
Majority of Indian railway workers are aware of this problem but most of Railway colonies are fitted with reverse osmosis system. Around 24 million passengers travel on Indian rail network where they are largely dependent on the water supplied at railway stations. Center for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) recommended the Indian Railways to take preventive measures within stipulated time.