CM announces water plant, activists see scam | delhi | Hindustan Times
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CM announces water plant, activists see scam

Chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s announcement of setting up a water treatment plant (WTP) at north Delhi’s Palla, which will treat 31 million gallons per day (MGD) has been termed a “scam in the making” by environmentalists and activists.

delhi Updated: Mar 21, 2013 00:02 IST
Team HT

Chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s announcement of setting up a water treatment plant (WTP) at north Delhi’s Palla, which will treat 31 million gallons per day (MGD) has been termed a “scam in the making” by environmentalists and activists.

“The raw water will be extracted ground water through a chain of tube wells in this very (Palla) area,” Dikshit said in her budget speech.

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) had carried out a scientific study about water quality in the Yamuna floodplains in the Palla region and suggested that it can be used to augment drinking water supply, without harming the floodplain’s recharge potential. Water And Power Consultancy Services India Ltd (WAPCOS), a public sector unit, had completed the study in 2011.

“(This) water was found potable with absolutely no need for any treatment. A WTP for Palla floodplain water will be a waste of public money and also neglect scientific study,” said Diwan Singh, an environmentalist who was part of the study.

“Groundwater has no turbidity and there is least possibility of any bacterial count. So, what is the need for a WTP? It is a scam in the making, a clear indicator of unnecessary infrastructure to benefit private companies,” pointed out SA Naqvi of Citizen’s Front for Water Democracy.

Explained Debashree Mukherjee, DJB CEO, “We will look into the kind of treatment that may be required. Parts of the floodplain yield water with a higher iron content. We will need to mix it with water with lesser iron content.”

DJB supplies 850 MGD of water, which includes about 100-odd MGD water from groundwater extraction. This is the first time that the government has turned to use of floodplains to tap groundwater.