Among other issues, water will play a crucial role in the coming Lok Sabha elections in the parched South Delhi constituency.
Many areas in the constituency –which is largely rural and has a large number of unauthorised colonies – do not even have pipelines for water supply. Successive governments have hardly done anything. Though caste has been a deciding factor in the area, residents say water is the next big thing on their minds.
“Governments have come and gone but our dream of having taps with running water remains a dream. So what if our colony was never planned or authorised? Thousands of people live here and pay through our nose to get water from private sources,” said Ratan Yadav, who lives in Sangam Vihar. BJP MLAs have often stormed the Assembly over this issue. They have even blamed the Congress government for allegedly diverting the area’s water supply to hotels being constructed for the Aerocity business disrict near the airport.
Sitting MP and Congress candidate from the constituency, Ramesh Kumar, admitted that the situation had gone from bad to worse but blamed the Aam Aadmi Party for it.
He said, “During the few days of AAP regime, the situation of potable water in Sangam Vihar turned from bad to worse due to their illusive policies. The announcement of ensuring 700 litres of water turned out to be a hoax. People are not getting even 70 litres of water. Water is available after a gap that ranges from 50 days to two months and that too at a heavy price,” he said.
Kumar said he had made efforts to improve the situation. “We have installed tubewells. We will now get water from Renuka dam.
His opponent, the BJP’s Ramesh Bidhuri, has promised to procure water from Haryana. “I will go to Supreme Court if need be. There has been no effort until now,” Bidhuri said.