ANKARA – Turkish Daily News
The interior, health and environment ministers warned municipalities to ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place to provide clean drinking water to citizens, in a joint press conference yesterday.
�It's the duty of the local administrations. We'll intensify our inspections and increase the amount of sanctions,� Interior Minister Beşir Atalay said yesterday. There are reports that the drinking water in many towns in the country is polluted due to the malfunctioning of water networks.
Municipalities should do whatever is necessary, Atalay said, and added, �Today what we are doing is reminding them of their responsibility. Sanctions will be applied (to those who do not fulfill their responsibility).� He said municipalities cannot have any excuse since their revenues are increased 44 percent in the summer time. �I ask them to use this surplus to provide citizens with clean water,� he said.
In recent weeks, one of the most discussed issues has been the high level of arsenic found in drinking water. Health Minister Recep Akdağ recalled that the arsenic level in the drinking water of 12 cities out of 81 was higher than the reasonable limit but as of today it is only the western city of İzmir that still suffers from this problem.
�We regularly check the water in all our cities. And we'll continue our controls,� he said.
Meanwhile, Environment Minister Veysel Eroğlu advised municipalities to spend their budgets on providing clean water instead of organizing festivals. �Chlorination and disinfection of the water is very important. We're ready to give training support to municipalities that apply to us,� he said.