The Jal Shakti Ministry plans to raise the number of water testing laboratories across India to 6,000 in the near future as part of the Centre's flagship Jal Jeevan Mission."The number of labs stands at about 1,500 to 2,000. We are very happy with the immense response that we got from across India. Imagine, 25,000 villages have got water samples tested. We soon plan to raise the number of labs to 6,000," Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat told mediapersons on Friday.The data from the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) showed that as on October 1, there are 2,010 active laboratories, 11,91,293 samples from across India have been tested in these labs, of which 96,763 were found contaminated.Water sample tests were carried out by people from as many as 1,94,841 villages.
"We have ensured that the community owns the system. We have also trained local youth in water testing with a field kit," Shekhawat said.The Jal Jeevan Mission data showed that 7,39,362 users have been trained by the Mission officials for testing water samples using the field-testing kit (FTK), while 4,62,137 samples were tested during field testing as on date since the Mission was launched.The minister said that the laboratories were established during the Covid pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, using the information management system modelled on the Covid-19 testing framework."This was never done earlier in the country and when we saw that Covid testing labs could be established in this manner, we decided to go ahead with water sample testing labs where anybody and everybody can take water for testing," he said.All these labs have been certified by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).