At a time when the city is reeling under acute water shortage, experts have questioned the use of the precious commodity for non-essential purposes, especially for non-drinking use.
While some question the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) for setting up a packaged drinking water bottling plant and selling branded water, others rue the use of treated water for golf courses and water parks.
“Delhi is a water-scarce state… Why should DJB run a bottling plant” said Himanshu Thakkar, an environmentalist.
DJB’s plant at Greater Kailash bottles about 3.5 lakh litres per day into 20-litre, 2-litres, 1.5-litre, 1-litre and even 500 ml jars.
The DJB calls it a “miniscule” amount, but experts say that in times of scarcity, even 100 litres per person would benefit 3,500 persons directly.
“There is a reason for the Greater Kailash plant. When it was started, the Sonia Vihar plant was not operational and many south Delhi areas did not get adequate water,” said a DJB spokesperson. The facility is benefiting consumers even today, the DJB official argued.
Golf courses and water parks, both catering to a niche segment, are known water guzzlers and targets of environmentalists. The average water consumption of an 18-hole golf course is 1 lakh litres per day. There are a minimum of eight golf courses in Delhi and at least six water parks.
Environmentalist Manoj Misra of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan agreed, “Fresh treated water should not at all be used for non-potable needs. Only re-cycled water should be used.”
But the DJB said it can hardly do anything about it. “Golf course land does not belong to us and hence that is not in our purview,” the spokesperson said.