Several resident welfare associations (RWAs) have punctured holes in Delhi Jal Board's (DJB) claim of taking along all stakeholders on its public private partnership (PPP) model for 24X7 water in three pilot project areas.
In a report about the project published in HT on August 14, Jal Board CEO Debashree Mukherjee had claimed: "We have held bhagidari meetings with RWAs in these areas and also involved the area MPs, MLAs and local DJB staff."
Rev ZS Peters, president of RWA Golf View Apartments, Saket, said: "We are unaware about such Bhagidari meetings. The DJB has not held any meeting with us. A private party will definitely increase water charges, otherwise why would it invest?"
"Which RWAs has the DJB met? I am the chairperson of the resident ward committee for Malviya Nagar (umbrella organisation of all RWAs). The DJB has not held any meeting with any of our members," said Payal Aggarwal, who also represents RWA Sarvodaya Enclave.
She said the residents have already started getting 200% inflated bills "even before they have started any work for infrastructure development".
People's Action, a consortium of residents' bodies, too, has taken up the matter with the DJB. "Despite RWAs disapproving privatisation, Delhi government is hell bent on proceeding with unfriendly policies," said Ashutosh Dikshit, a member.
Many other RWAs echoed similar sentiments. The only RWA that said a meeting was indeed held was Vasant Vihar but the RWA termed it "mere eyewash".
"There was a meeting over a year ago attended by DJB, RWA office bearers and about 50-odd residents. People raised several questions but the DJB could not answer all. Since then, they have not got back," Ramesh Vohra, RWA secretary, said.
DJB spokesperson Sanjam Chima, when presented with these responses, said: "There are many RWAs in these areas. The RWAs that are complaining must be the ones with whom we have not yet held any meeting. We have been and will continue to interact with all RWAs."