New Delhi: Delhi BJP on Friday took to streets to protest against scarcity of water in various parts of the city during summer and blamed poor water management by Congress government for the situation. BJP activists led by Delhi unit chief Vijay Goel held a demonstration near ITO with police using water cannons and lathicharge to disperse them.
"The crisis is so acute and the common people are in such a desperate situation that Delhi could face severe water riots in days to come as it has happened earlier also," Goel said addressing BJP workers. Ironically, while the water tariff had increased from 35 paisa per litre to Rs 35 per litre during Congress regime in Delhi, there is unabated deterioration in water supply across the Capital, he said. BJP accused the government for mishandling the situation on water supply and said that the residents had overwhelmingly passed a verdict against the Sheila Dikshit government.
Citing a CAG report, Goel said 78.38 per cent RWAs claimed that they did not receive sufficient water in summer, 57.66 per cent RWAS complained that they received water for less than two hours a day in summers 53.15 per cent RWAs felt that water supplied by DJB was unfit for drinking in summer. He said more than 1,600 unauthorised colonies in the city housing a population of no less than 60 lakh are rge worst hit with almost no piped water supply available there. "Mere lip service of Congress leaders cannot quench the thirst of millions in this city. The tall promises and false claims by the Chief Minister, who also heads the DJB, are adding insult to injury of Delhi residents. The fact is that the CAG reports and several other inquiries have exposed massive corruption in Delhi Jal Board (DJB) which has led to this water crisis," Goel said.
The BJP leader said the Delhi government often tries to shift blame on less water being released from Haryana for poor water supply in Delhi. "The fact remains that 40 per cent of the water were wasted through leaky pipelines of Delhi Jal Board. If we could stop leakage itself, it could salvage the situation to a great extent but not even one tenth of the total 10,000 KM plus pipelines of DJB have been overhauled during Congress rule," he claimed. Delhi requires close to 4200 Million Liters (ML) every day, while it gets supplied only 3200 ML from all the sources.
"Common people have to buy water from private suppliers at exorbitant prices. The poor water management by DJB is also reflected in the unequal distribution of water. While people in New Delhi Municipal Corporation area get 489 litres per person every day, Cantonment area gets 515 liters, whereas most of the other areas in the city do not get even one fourth of this quantity. Due to this poor water management, the groundwater table has declined dramatically during the last few years in the city and Congress government has done nothing to rectify this scary situation," he said.
He said that water table has gone down by 70 feet over the last 10 years. Delhi has recently been ranked the worst environmental performer in the country, according to the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) devised by the Planning Commission. One of the parameters was its very low score on the status of ground water and annual recharge, Goel said. "It is clear that the water crisis in the city was a result of poor water management by DJB and aided by massive corruption in DJB and a clearly obvious plan to protect and promote tanker mafia by Congress government. This is a betrayal of the trust of common people which is condemnable," Goel said. Various areas in East and South Delhi today faced water shortage as Uttar Pradesh cut raw water supply to the city from the upper Ganga canal to fix a breach.