New Delhi: When thirst gets deep down, people very often don’t mind drinking water from roadside water vendors. Think twice before doing so this summer as majority of them don't have license of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and they sell unfiltered and poor quality water.

The scorching summer is here again and so are the diseases that haunt the residents of Delhi at this time of the year in which  water borne diseases are the most common .So be cautious while drinking water at any of the road side stalls as the chances of falling sick are too high.

Contaminated water leads to the diseases like cholera, jaundice and typhoid.

 According to MCD, 250 cases of cholera have already been registered in the capital in 2011 and the reported number of jaundice and typhoid cases is also soaring high.

 "Every year, there's a spurt in cases of water-borne diseases in summers. We know the reason is nothing else but poor quality of water. And the surge in water-borne diseases that we witness at our OPDs is testimony to this," said Dr Randeep Guleria, a general physician from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

 MCD provides licenses to the vendors and contractors in the city and tells them to use water from the Delhi Jal Board (DJB). The condition is worse in Noida as they don't have any regulating bodies for water vendors.

"The MCD people come once in a long time and check our license only but the purity of the water in the water trolleys has never been checked. The inspector do not even care to bring the relevant instruments with them" said Ramesh a Delhi vendor.

MCD Spokesperson Deep Mathur said, "People don't check the license while drinking water from the road side vendors. Around 90 percent of the water vendors don't have license to sell water but they are doing it illegally."

The daily earning of one cart is nearly Rs 300. As there are thousands of these water vendors in the city, the total business is Rs.10 crore a year in Delhi alone.

 "Most people opt for buying water packets from road side due to its low cost. But some manufacturers of water packets fill it with unclean tap water that may contain several bacteria. Also, the dirty packets in which the water is filled may lead to other health problems. So, it is better to drink filtered water from a hygienic place, or else carry a water bottle in case of going out in summer," said Dr Umesh Kapil, professor of nutrition, AIIMS.

One obvious thing is that the glasses these water vendors use are unwashed and a storehouse of millions of bacteria. When we asked one water vendor he said, "Summer is the time when people feel more thirsty and our roadside water stalls are easily available everywhere. People generally don't have time to check the license."

Things to do..

    * Do not drink water from roadside vendors.
    * If you are left with no options other than that, then look for the MCD license number before drinking water.
    * The best option is to boil water properly for 20 minutes and then carry it while going out.
    * Avoid street food, unwashed fruits and vegetables.
    * Fruits that are cut and kept in open are a strict no-no, including those at home, if kept uncovered for a long time.
    * Ensure that the water used for washing fruits and vegetables is clean.
    * Avoid tinned/stored/uncooked food and avoid eating out as much as possible.

(Courtsey:City Plus)