Most of Delhi’s water distribution pipelines have clocked 25 to 35 years of service, are plagued with leaks and barely resist the pressure of water inside them.
Due to this crumbling infrastructure, almost half of the water meant for Delhi homes goes waste.
If the entire 900-odd million gallons of water could reach the targeted homes without loss, each Delhiite would get around 240 litres, or 30 buckets of water everyday even in peak summer. In most European countries, citizens get only around 150 litres each.
As the people of South Delhi — most of whom went without water over the last 24 hours because of a pipeline burst on Wednesday — will testify, the water they get is far less than 240 litres per capita.
Delhi Jal Board, however, maintains many of the old pipes are being used “in good faith”.
“The one that burst open still had some of its projected life left. So we had decided to use it for optimum use of infrastructure,” said RK Garg, DJB’s head of water works.
So far, DJB does not have bulk meters in all its huge pipelines—essential for knowing how much water is being received.
“We have (now) bought 391 bulk meters to be installed at all micro-inlet and outlet points.” said Sanjam Chima, DJB spokeswoman.