Delhi Police has told the National Green Tribunal that Delhi Jal Board (DJB) was claiming commercial rates for its residential complexes and it has no specific records of the water connections installed at various locations.
“There is only one meter installed at police buildings which is being used for both residential quarters and commercial building. Therefore, DJB is claiming commercial charges in place of residential charges even for residential complex of Delhi police officials,” the police said in an affidavit filed in the NGT.
The city police has further claimed that DJB had no proof of the bills and meter readings in respect of their pending claims because majority of the bills were 8 to 10 years old.
“As on date, the issue of exact quantum of payment is undecided due to the reason that DJB has had no evidential proof of the bills and meter readings in respect of their pending claims because majority of the amount is of old bills (more than 8/10 years).
“This matter was brought to the notice of Police Headquarters for the first time in May 2014 and the outstanding payment against Delhi Police was shown at that time was about Rs 114 crore. Since then most of the outstanding payment against Delhi Police has been cleared,” the affidavit filed by Delhi Police said.
The affidavit was filed by the city police in response to a plea filed by Delhi resident Sanjay Kumar through advocate Gaurav Bansal, alleging that the police has not paid its water bills amounting to over Rs 232 crore.
Refuting the contentions made in the plea, Delhi Police said the department has disputed certain bills and the issue of non-payment of disputed bills is pending adjudication under the Delhi Water Board Act, 1998. It is submitted that cess cannot be levied upon the Delhi Police until the due amount is adjudicated. Delhi Police said that DJB has not provided exact quantum of claims till date and “until the complete adjudication of the disputes between the Delhi Police and Delhi Jal Board takes place, water cess cannot be paid”.
“In violation of Article 14 of the Constitution, the Delhi Police personnel and their families are being denied the benefit of free water upto 20,000 kilo litre per month and on the other hand DJB is recovering double payment one from the residents i.e. Delhi Police personnel who are residing in the department quarters and the others from the Delhi Police department,” the affidavit said.
“It is also on record that earlier water meters were not installed by DJB at majority of the locations and where they had installed water meters the same was either faulty or were not giving readings. Besides, instances have also come across where some of the water meters have been buried in mud etc,” it said.
The tribunal had earlier issued notices to the Delhi government, Delhi Jal Board, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and Delhi Police.
The plea had sought directions to Delhi Police to pay the pending water bills including water cess to Delhi government so that the amount could be used by it for the welfare of the people of the national capital.