The mercury is climbing, heralding the dog days of summer. All the while, 35 luxury hotels continue to waste power and water sufficient to supply large parts of the Capital.
And not only do they guzzle resources, they throw out as much sewage — much of it untreated — as a locality the size of Rajouri Garden would.
The state government has put city hotels on notice: cut down on wastage and pollution and save resources, or face action that could even include cancellation of land lease agreements.
On February 26, they were given a deadline of a month to submit undertakings and action plans. As of Thursday, half of the hotels had yet to comply.
Some of the figures the government has compiled show just how much of your resources the hotels are feasting on.
“The 35 five-star hotels consume 15 million litres of water every day. Five million litres which can otherwise be supplied to an area as big as Delhi Cantonment is wasted every day,” said a top Delhi government official.
Water consumed by one such hotel is adequate for 1,000 households. Water is wasted everywhere — from taps, tubs, flushes, pools and fountains, said the official.
Hundreds of kilogrammes of linen are washed every day. And a large quantity of detergents and chemicals are also used, potentially causing environmental damage.
"As many as 16 of these hotels don't have a dedicated sewage treatment plant. No wonder, these 35 hotels generate 10 million litres of sewage every day. This much sewage is generated every day by a population as big as 4.5 lakh," the official said. Besides, there is 4 to 5 tonnes of solid waste generation every day.
Massive amounts of power are also being wasted. "There is no concern to save power. You cannot waste this resource just because you can afford it. As many as 14 hotels don't have solar heating systems. They have been given three months to set up these systems," the official said.
Even a small 5-star hotel uses as much electricity as required by 600 households. An average 5-star hotel uses as many as 15,000 lighting fixtures; 3,000 of them are always on. Chilling plants gobble up huge amounts of electricity and cool even unoccupied areas. And of course, there is the power that goes into generating running hot water.
The five-star hotels are not the only parties guilty of consuming too much. For instance, it is estimated that 85% of the total water supplied in Delhi is used by 15% of its people.