Process to provide 24X7 water to Delhi households has begun: Kejriwal

Clean water availability round-the-clock was one of the 10 promises made by Kejriwal in his 10-point guarantee card during the 2020 Assembly elections.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal addressing media during in New Delhi on Saturday.(ANI Photo)
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal addressing media during in New Delhi on Saturday.(ANI Photo)
Updated on Sep 27, 2020 03:07 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has begun the process to appoint a consultant to make water available 24x7 to every household in the next five years.

Addressing a digital press conference, Kejriwal said Delhi consumes 930 million gallons (MGD) of water every day or 176 litre per person per day. This includes water use of all kinds, including industrial, swimming pools, for farm fields and so on, he said.

“This is not a lot, but it is not less either. At present, there is no accountability. A lot of water is either stolen or goes waste due to leakages. We are appointing a consultant who would recommend us steps to ensure not a single litre of water goes waste. It would also suggest us the technologies available across the globe to put in place a hi-tech, automated, and real-time water management system,” the chief minister said.

 

Clean water availability round-the-clock was one of the 10 promises made by Kejriwal in his 10-point guarantee card during the 2020 Assembly elections.

“Delhi is the national capital of the country. If you visit any capital city across the world such as London, Tokyo, Paris, you will receive 24x7 clean tap water supply. In Delhi, the water pressure is low and people have to install pumps, and if one person installs a pump, it causes a problem for neighbours. Every household has to install water tanks to store water. We have to bring all of this to an end. Just like the citizens living in the national capitals of other countries receive 24x7 water with full pressure, without the need for a water tank and any water pump, we will do the same in Delhi,” the chief minister said.

To enhance the availability of water in Delhi, he said the Delhi government is in talks with “water-rich” states such as Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand to explore the possibility of water-sharing pacts.

Kejriwal addressed the concerns raised by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which alleged that the decision of Delhi government ‘One Zone-One Operator’ policy is a step towards privatising the DJB. The DJB is a state-run organisation in Delhi.

“No privatisation of water is happening, I am myself against privatisation of water. There can be no privatisation of water at any cost,” said the CM.

The DJB on Thursday had announced ‘One Zone-One Operator’ policy under which the city will be divided into 7-8 zones and a private operator will be appointed to look into the works in each zone.

The decision was taken in a board meeting presided over by Delhi water minister and DJB chairman Satyendar Jain.

“After extensive discussions and deliberations at various levels to improve the services and bring efficient management in the water supply and sewerage system, it was decided to award the contracts to private operators for the operation, maintenance, and management of water supply and sewerage networks in various zones of Delhi on the lines of ‘One Zone-One Operator’,” said a statement issued by the DJB on Thursday.

“The operators will be appointed for a period of 10 years under the scheme on a contract basis,” it said.

Ankit Srivastava, DJB technical advisor, explained that the services are not being privatised and no layoffs will be done within the water utility. Senior officials said the powers of monitoring and supervision will rest with the DJB.

“We are still living in old times, where if we have to transfer the availability of water from one area to another, we have to send a valve in those areas. We have a technology in DJB, where one can operate a valve through a remote control sitting in a control room at the click of a button. The central control room has full information on which pipeline and which area has how much water, and full information on the availability of water is available on a real-time basis. This is also called a SCADA system. The consultant will tell us about this technology. Now, we are moving towards providing a 24x7 supply of water to Delhiites,” Kejriwal said.

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