In his debut rally ahead of the Assembly elections in Delhi this year, Aam Aadmi party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday launched an attack on the state government's alleged corruption in electricity and water services.
Alleging corruption worth at least Rs. 10,000 crore in the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) over the last decade, Kejriwal said the water bill for a family consuming 45 kilolitres has increased from Rs. 73 per month in 2004 to Rs. 1335 in 2013. "This is entirely due to corruption in the DJB translated into hiked bills," he told the gathering at Najafgarh in southwest Delhi, which had youth and retired armed forces personnel, but barely 5% women in attendance.
He alleged corruption in handing over water treatment plants to private companies citing examples of how a French company is getting 90 million gallons per day (MGD) raw water to treat and giving an output of 140 MGD. "This kind of miracle can happen only in Dikshit's government," he said.
He gave another example of a private company being given water free of charge at the Nangloi plant. The company was to treat it at R15 per kilolitre as against the government rate of R5 per kilolitre.
Kejriwal also reiterated Friday's charges of inflated electric bills, despite the then power regulator chief's order. "Do we keep watching this helplessly? Do not pay electric bills and if they disconnect your connection, tell me, I will reconnect it," he said.
Prem Paal, 25, working in the postal department, said, "Today I get Rs. 9000 and pay Rs. 6000 for electricity. I am sure if AAP wins, they will change the law to punish the culprits. It will put an end to corruption."
The Delhi Police have denied permission for Kejriwal's rally that was scheduled for Sunday, at east Delhi's Rohtash Nagar near Shahdara. The AAP has planned 51 rallies till March 17.