7 state agencies owe DJB Rs 6,811 crore in bills: Raghav Chadha
Delhi Jal Board (DJB) vice-chairman Raghav Chadha on Tuesday said seven government agencies, including the three municipal corporations, have not paid water and sewerage dues for years, amounting to Rs 6,811 crore. The DJB issued show cause and recovery notices to all departments, asking them to pay the dues at the earliest.
Chadha said the Covid-19 pandemic had hit the economy hard and so it was imperative for the Delhi government to recover all its dues.
The seven agencies are the Indian Railways, the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi Police and the North, East and South Delhi municipal corporations.
“The Indian Railways, managed by the Central government, owes the highest dues -- Rs 3,283 crore. The North Delhi Municipal Corporation owes the second-highest dues, amounting to Rs 2,466 crore,” Chadha said at a press conference on Tuesday.
The Indian Railways spokesperson did not comment on the matter.
North Corporation mayor Jai Prakash reacting over the DJB notice said, “Firstly, the DJB cannot charge commercial fee on water and sewerage from a municipal corporation, as we providing public services. Secondly, they owe us at least ₹300 crore as compensation for cutting roads. Besides, they also owe us house tax for all their buildings, the amount of which will also run into crores.”
Despite repeated attempts, the DDA and CPWD could not be reached for a comment.
“Delhi Police is yet to pay bills of Rs 614 crore while the CPWD and the DDA owe Rs 190 crore and Rs 128 crore, respectively. The East and South corporations owe Rs 49 crore and Rs 81 crore, respectively,” he said.
The notices were issued to the departments between September 1 and September 15 under relevant sections of the Delhi Water Board Act. The agencies are required to pay the dues within 40 days of the receipt of the notices, said Chadha.
He said if the agencies fail to pay the dues in time, the DJB will be forced to use penal provisions to recover the money.
“The pandemic and all of the other factors, cumulatively, have put the DJB in a precarious situation. If the dues are not cleared within the stipulated time, the board shall be constrained and left with no other option but to initiate coercive action until the full and final payment is recovered,” said Chadha.
Chadha said these were unprecedented times and every government department was having a hard time in managing finances. The DJB had its own financial liabilities and needed to recover these dues in order to keep providing the essential water and sewerage services, he said.
A senior police officer said they will look into the matter.