For the past one year, Surilee Singhal, a resident of Rajinder Nagar, has been telling Delhi Jal Board (DJB) officials to fine her neighbours for an overflowing tank. “One of them even told me ‘Why do you bother? They (the neighbour) will pay the extra bill’,” Singhal said.
JS Rekhi from Golf View Apartment, Saket, has a similar story to tell. “Tanks overflow in our colony daily. I have personally asked DJB officials to challan people, but they don’t want to come.”
UM Jana, a resident of Nelson Mandela Road, pointed out how nobody from DJB came to their area to check and challan errant people who let gallons of water down the drain. A resident from neighbouring plush Vasant Kunj asked, “Most residents from my colony have no floats on their tanks. Why can’t DJB officials make a spot visit here?”As the national capital reels under scorching heat and DJB struggles with 835 million gallons per day (MGD) availability of water against the city’s demand of 1,100 MGD approximately, can those who waste water be let off unpunished?
Overflowing tanks is a major source of wastage of water. Leaking pipes too add to the overall wastage. In fact, chief minister Sheila Dikshit last week said there is as much as 35-40 per cent of physical loss of water. Agreed a DJB official, “Many staffers are insensitive. There are some loose ends in the field.”
However, he said water magistrates regularly visit different areas and fine people for overflowing tanks and other misuses of potable water. The consumers can be fine starting from R100 up to Rs. 2,000.
During April and May, water magistrates from Kanhaiya Nagar, Yojana Vihar and Jal Sadan (Lajpat Nagar) filed about 150 challans and disposed off 80, collecting a fine of R1.98 lakh. Till March 2012, as many as 6,174 consumers were challaned and Rs. 107.65 lakh collected as fine.
But Raj Kumar Aggarwal from Mantola, Paharganj has an entirely different complaint: “DJB can fine us but who will penalise DJB for its inaction?
Residents from my area are forced to throw thousands of litres as water is contaminated.”