Delhi Jal Board, which is headed by the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, has planned to issue notices to seven different government departments for non-payment of water bills. The dues of these government departments are amounting to Rs 3,220.12 crore. A DJB official said that the principal amount of the dues is Rs 737.77 crore. “Many of these departments have not paid their dues for several years. The cumulative principal outstanding amount is Rs 737.77 crore. If we add the late payment surcharge, the total amount scales up to Rs 3,220.12 crore,” said the official. DJB has clarified that if the payment is not made by the concerned departments then the water connections could be disconnected reports The Indian Express.
Some of the department includes the Delhi Police and the Delhi Development Authority. “The arrears from the government departments date back several years. The Indian Railways owe Rs 1,577.32 crore as it has several water connections in New Delhi area,” the official said. The three municipal corporations, meanwhile, owe the DJB a total of Rs 1,100.26 crore. Yogender Mann, the spokesperson for the North and East corporations, said, “We haven’t received the notice yet. We will only be able to comment once we do.”
While responding to the statement by the DJB, a North MCD official said that the payments were being made regularly. “The due amount dates back a few years. This is politically motivated. The DJB is charging commercial rates to provide water to key social sector facilities. For instance, it has levied commercial rates to Hindu Rao Hospital. This has to be worked out, and is one of the major reasons for the delay,” he said.
Among the government department whose name is on the list issued, the Delhi Jal Board said, “Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) owes Rs 186.03 crore.” However, the official said, “This is not a political issue, and it’s not just agencies under the Centre that are being asked to pay up.” The Delhi Police owe Rs 284.53 crore to the DJB while the DDA owes Rs 71.98 crore.
On the issue raised by the DJB, the Delhi Police chief spokesperson Dependra Pathak said that they clear their dues on regular basis. Pathak said, “We always clear our water bills on a regular basis. But if they send any dues, we will clear it after examining them.” DDA vice-chairman Udai Pratap Singh said, “Without seeing the notice, I am not in a position to comment.” A government spokesperson said notices will be issued early next week, and departments will be given a week to clear the dues.