New Delhi: Keeping up its pre-poll promise, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on Monday announced that 20 thousand litre of free water will be supplied per month to all the domestic consumers with functional meter from January 1. Delhi Jal Board CEO Vijay Kumar said that 20 thousand litre of water will be free of cost from January 1 and those whose consumption is beyond the above limit will be charged for the entire usage.
"All the domestic consumers having metered connection will get 20 kilolitres of water free of cost from January 1. We will not even levy any existing charges such as water cess and sewerage charge," newly-appointed Delhi Jal Board CEO Vijay Kumar told reporters.
He, however, said if the consumption limit crosses 20 kilolitres, then the consumer will have to pay for the water and other charges. Kumar was appointed CEO of DJB on Saturday evening in place of Debashree Mukherjee who is understood to have reservation over supplying water free of cost.
So every Delhi household with water meter will get 667 litre of water per day the state government has decided to give 20,000 litre of water per month.
After Delhi government announced to give 20 kilo litre free water per connection in Delhi, AAP leader Kumar Vishwas asserted, "There is no time limit for free water supply, we will continue with this."
However, Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit took a dig at the AAP government saying, "First the government should provide water to those who don't get water at all."
Undeterred by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's ill health, the AAP government took the decision to fulfil the promises it made to the people of Delhi. The meeting of Delhi Jal Board officials at Kejriwal's residence went on for about an hour on Monday. Kejriwal who is currently unwell chaired the meet.
Kejriwal earlier in the day had tweeted about his illness and expressed regret about not being able to attend office. "Running 102 fever since yesterday. Severe loose motions. Sad that I won't be able to attend office today," Kejriwal tweeted.
"It was so important to attend office today. We had planned the water announcement. God, bahut galat time par bimaar kiya. (God, you have made me ill at the wrong time)," he added. Kejriwal was scheduled to chair a meeting of Delhi Jal Board officials on Monday to discuss ways to provide free 700 litres of water to every household as promised by him.
On Christmas day, Kejriwal had vowed to implement the free water scheme in every household within 24 hours of assuming office. Kejriwal had also transferred the CEO of the Delhi Jal Board Debashree Mukherjee and brought in Vijay Kumar in her place.
However, Kejriwal has been criticised for transferring her for pointing out that free water would cost a huge subsidy to the government. "The CEO of Jal Board was transferred because she pointed out losses the government will suffer," former Delhi chief secretary Umesh Sehgal said.
(With additional inputs from PTI)
It is wrongly being said that our decision is for 3 months. Decision is for good. But obviously financial calculations r for balance FY— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 30, 2013
It is duty of any responsible govt to provide "lifeline water" to its citizens.V may debate the quantum but can v argue agnst the principle?— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 30, 2013
Do u know the costs involved? Rs 160 crores per annum and just Rs 40 crores for the balance of present FY— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 30, 2013