With an eye on crucial bypolls in 2018, 2019 Lok Sabha Election, and Assembly polls in 2020, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has promised water for all in Delhi. The AAP convener has started inaugurating a raft of projects in the national capital. CM Kejriwal has also said that there should be no politics on projects for public good. Kejriwal has also said that those who do it are traitors and anti-nationals. It has been learnt that the party wants to focus on water, sewers and sanitation. Notably all these issues are related to the water ministry. Last year, Kejriwal had taken chage of the Water Department of his government.
On Sunday, Kejriwal inaugurated the work of rehabilitation of a sewer line in Krishna Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Patparganj and Vishwas Nagar Assembly constituencies. Apart from this, he also laid the foundation stone for 26.80 ML capacity Under Ground Reservoir (UGR)/Booster Pumping Station (BPS) at Sonia Vihar. “The execution of the present scheme will rehabilitate seven major sewer lines,” an official said.
On January 8, the Delhi high court sought responses from Delhi and Haryana governments on supplying 330 cusecs of water a day through the Munak Canal to the national capital, instead of a sub-branch canal as an estimated 50 per cent of water sent through it is lost due to seepage. The bench also sought the stand of the Delhi Jal Board on a PIL, which claimed that 100 per cent sewage treatment facility in the national capital would reduce the water crisis in the city. The bench ordered the DJB to place before it its action plan on construction of sewerage facilities in Delhi, which the government agency proposes to do by 2031.
The court was hearing the plea filed by advocate S B Tripathi, who has said the population in Delhi was increasing each day, but the raw water available to the city was the same or decreasing. The petition, referring to a DJB affidavit filed in the court, said only 55 per cent of Delhi population has sewerage facility, while the remaining population was without sewerage. It said that the sewage generation from the remaining 45 per cent unsewered area was flowing into drains and ultimately into the river Yamuna. It said that if the sewage of the remaining 45 per cent population is treated, the water crisis in Delhi can be lessened.
Last year, even Kejriwal had pointed to “serious management problems” in water supply in the city, seeking a report from Delhi Jal Board on supply and consumption in each Assembly constituency. In a letter written to the DJB chief executive officer, Kejriwal has said that Delhi having a population of 2 crore has fresh water availability of 900 MGD. This puts per capita per day availability of water in the city at 170 litres which is one of the highest in the world, he said citing examples of European countries including UK (150 litres), Germany(115 litres), Netherlands (125), Denmark 131), Belgium (107) among others. “With the availability of 170 litres per capita per day availability of water, we are not able to provide even a few hours supply to each household. This means that it is a serious management problem,” he said.