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Delhi Faces Water Shortfall Of 50 Million Gallons A Day, Do Not Waste: Atishi

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Claiming that Delhi faces a water shortage of 50 million gallons per day (MGD), the city government Thursday urged people not to waste water, and asserted the problem cannot be solved by merely restraining the tanker mafia.

As parts of the city grappled with the acute shortage, the Supreme Court asked the AAP government to approach the Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB) for additional water on humanitarian ground.

The situation prompted Lt Governor V K Saxena to ask the Delhi Police to set up patrols along the Munak canal, supplying water to the national capital, to ensure the tanker mafia does not lift water from it.

Under his directions, the Delhi Police set up pickets and started patrolling the 15-kilometre stretch of the Munak canal on the Haryana borders. The canal enters Delhi from Bawana and reaches the Haiderpur Treatment Plant.

Meanwhile, the BJP attacked the AAP government, accusing it of failing to check water leakage and wastage, while encouraging illegal tanker mafia.

Delhi Water minister Atishi inspected the main pipeline supplying water to South Delhi, and asserted the “rumours” of water leakages in Delhi Jal Board (DJB) pipelines were “rumours”.

She also met Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in Tihar jail, and said he is worried about the people of the city and has directed to ensure the water crisis is resolved as soon as possible.

The chief minister also directed AAP MLAs to go on the ground and take all possible steps to provide water to the people in their areas, she said.

A day after the Supreme Court slammed the AAP government over tanker mafia in water-scarce national capital, the Delhi government claimed they were operational on the Haryana side of the Yamuna river over which the DJB has no jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, the plight of the people, especially those in unauthorised colonies and slum clusters, continued with exhausted women and children seen struggling with grown ups for a few buckets of water that tankers would bring.

Atishi in a press conference said there is a genuine crisis in Delhi, mentioning a shortfall of 50 million gallons per day in water production due to reduced raw water supply from Yamuna and other sources.

She said the average water production in Delhi has fallen considerably from 1,000-1,005 million gallons per day (MGD) six days ago due to a lack of adequate supply of raw water through the Yamuna River and other sources.

“On June 12, it was 951 MGD. It means production has decreased by 50 MGD in Delhi due to shortage of water, leading to scarcity in areas at the tail-end of the water pipeline network,” she said.

She asserted the water shortage faced by the city cannot be solved by merely restraining the tanker mafia.

As of now, over 1,000 tankers of DJB are supplying water to areas such as unauthorised colonies and slums that have no access to the pipeline network. These tankers make eight to 10 trips to supply water which means only four to five MGD of water is being used, Atishi said.

“If tanker mafia is active and say 100-200 tankers are operated, it will be not more than 0.1-0.5 MGD of water used by them. Even if the tanker mafia is completely restrained, it will not solve the water crisis in Delhi as it is facing a shortfall of 50 MGD of water,” she said.

Addressing a press conference, Delhi BJP secretary and New Delhi MP Bansuri Swaraj said people are being fleeced by the tanker mafia.

Hitting out at Atishi, Swaraj alleged that instead of ensuring action against the tanker mafia, the minister is extending protection to them.

“Atishi says that even if the tanker mafia is stopped, not much water would be saved. This is very unfortunate because people facing water shortage are being fleeced by the tanker mafia,” she said.

The BJP leader also criticised the AAP government for “failing” to prevent wastage and leakage of water and “misleading” people on the issue.

Atishi asserted that the Arvind Kejriwal government has been taking all measures to prevent leakage and wastage of water.

The Delhi government teams have so far issued 1,323 challans to people for water wastage while 179 unauthorised water connections for construction work and other commercial purposes have been disconnected, she told reporters.

Appealing Delhi people not to use water from DJB’s pipeline network for washing cars, roofs and balconies of houses and watering plants, the minister said, “People need to come together to tackle the water crisis.” She said the Delhi government, with an expenditure of Rs 500 crore prevented water transmission losses, bringing it to five per cent from earlier 30 per cent. In the last nine years, 3,500 km of pipelines with leakages were replaced and over 60,000 km-long pipeline network was laid to supply water to unauthorised colonies and slum clusters in the city, she said.

She said the government has also installed 3,285 bulk flow metres to monitor water entering the pipeline network and its supply across the city.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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