Delhi Jal Board (DJB) officials on Friday sought to allay fears regarding the public private partnership (PPP) model for water management in the Capital during an interaction with stakeholders even as several of the residents’ queries remain unanswered.
A key question that was not satisfactorily answered was: “What is it that a private company can achieve which the DJB staff can’t?”
The DJB officials said “there is political pressure”, “staff is inefficient” and “there is no accountability”. But it failed to explain how the private operator would do the job efficiently.
The stakeholders’ conference was organised by the Forum for Organised Resource Conservation and Enhancement (FORCE) to analyse outsourcing of water management.
Refusing to refer outsourcing as ‘privatisation’, DJB’s CEO Debashree Mukherjee said the system was being redesigned to increase efficiency by involving the private sector in service delivery.
Nitya Jacob, director (water), Centre for Science and Environment, pointed out the necessity of “governance of water utility” and the participation of people in the decision making process.
“Who is the Board answerable to? How did it decide PPP was the way to go?” he asked.
Bansi Lal, a Vasant Kunj resident, suggested, “Why not get DJB’s accounts audited by CAG?” to which DJB spokesperson Sanjam Chima said, it is already audited by CAG.
Residents and activists sought to know if there would be a tariff hike. “No,” was the clear answer.