KATHMANDU, June 26: Two government bodies have blamed each other for not publicizing the names of drinking water companies which supplied water contaminated with E-coli, a harmful bacteria found in human excreta.
Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) and Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DoFTQC) have avoided taking the responsibility for revealing the names of water bottlers selling contaminated drinking water.
A report of lab tests carried out by NAST that was published a few days ago revealed that 74 percent of jar water is contaminated with harmful bacteria including E-coli and is unsuitable for drinking.
However, NAST passed the buck to DoFTQC for publishing the names of the companies selling such water. Prof Dr Jiba Raj Pokharel, vice chancellor of NAST, claimed that NAST’s responsibility is only to carry out researches and test the samples. “Our duty is to inform the govt bodies concerned about the test results. They are entitled to publicize the results,” he added.
Pokharel said that NAST submitted the results of the tests to DoFTQC, which should make it public and take necessary action as per the law.
But Sanjiv Kumar Karna, director general of DoFTQC, said the department cannot publish NAST’s report as it does not have the right to do so. “NAST should publish the results as it carried out the tests. We only collected NAST report for our purpose,” he claimed. “We doubt the report and NAST needs to conduct a retest for confirmation. The report cannot be published without confirmation.”
Several companies have been selling contaminated water in the market, according to DoFTQC officials.