The Delhi Jal Board’s ambitious project to augment water supply in Vasant Vihar has come under scanner following the residents’ allegations that the water utility is diverting the water supply line from the main reservoir to other areas.
Residents blame MLA Promila Tokas for engaging a private contractor and tampering with the main line of Vasant Vihar reservoir to supply water to DDA janta flats and Vasant Gaon. They say the work of laying pipeline is being carried out illegally and the contractor isn’t following the correct procedure.
In 2012, the DJB had initiated the pilot project of augmenting the water supply network in selected areas of Delhi and Vasant Vihar was one of them. To undertake the project, the DJB had signed a contract with the MVV Water Utility Pvt Ltd and the areas to be covered under this project include Vasant Vihar, Vasant Enclave, Shanti Niketan, Anand Niketan and Westend. It was expected that after the completion of the project, residents will get water supply for 24 hours.
The project was supposed to be completed by 2014 end, but according to the residents, 20% of the work is still pending. “It includes installation of equipment (like boosters) at some places and connecting the internal lines to main supply line,” said Garg.
“However, before the project was completed, the MLA came up with the proposal to include other areas with main supply line connected to the Vasant Vihar reservoir. These areas were not even mentioned in the pilot project. She is trying to woo voters prior to the municipal election scheduled to take place early next year,” said Keshav Garg, RWA president, D block.
Tokas clarified that the ongoing project for laying the water pipeline in Vasant Gaon was started after the permission of the DJB. “The village is dependent on the borewell for drinking water. But it is not good for health and that’s why we are asking the DJB to connect the area to the main reservoir. We received permission from the CEO of DJB six months back and the work was started after that,” she said.
A senior DJB official said that the decision was taken in an internal meeting of the DJB. “The laying of the pipeline for the village won’t affect the ongoing project,” he said.
Residents got to know about the development when the digging work started in Block D and C (at the backside of main reservoir) on June 24, for laying water pipelines from the reservoir to the neighbouring colonies. As a result, the residents protested and alleged that the move will affect the water distribution system of the locality which would lead to severe water shortage in their area. They said that the contractor didn’t have any formal permission.
“We are not against the supply of water to Vasant Gaon, slum dwellers and other residents, but we are worried about the future of the project aimed at providing round the clock water supply in the area. We just want the project to be completed first and after which the rest of the areas can be covered,” said Suresh Goel, president of Vasant Vihar Welfare Association.
Aggrieved residents had immediately filed a complaint with the local police and also written letter to the Lieutenant Governor seeking an appointment to discuss the issue in detail. “We filed a complaint with the police because the work was done illegally. Secondly, as per Municipal Corporation norms, no digging work is allowed after June 1,” said Goel.