L-G pens open letter to CM, slams govt over water crisis : The Tribune India

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L-G pens open letter to CM, slams govt over water crisis

Claims woman’s death in a fight over fetching water reflects govt’s failure

L-G pens open letter to CM, slams govt over water crisis


Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 16

Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena on Tuesday wrote an open letter Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, flagging water scarcity issues in the Capital.

Water woes

Water woes in the Capital, especially in settlements where the poor live, have exacerbated over the last decade. — VK Saxena, Lieutenant Governor

He claimed the death of a woman in a fight over fetching water reflects the government’s failure.

Saxena’s letter, posted on Raj Niwas’s X account, addressed Atishi’s concerns, highlighting a tragic incident in Shahdara where a woman was fatally stabbed during an argument over access to tap water due to shortage. Atishi had squarely blamed the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) officials for the woman’s death, alleging negligence.

The L-G accused Atishi of using the woman’s death for “narrow political goals” and said, “Atishi has ironically indicted her own government of more than nine years. Her note indeed is a prima facie admission of guilt, inaction and inefficiency over the last almost 10 years.”

Hitting back at Saxena, Atishi held him responsible for stopping DJB’s works. The L-G encouraged the officers who obstructed work and did not take any action against them despite repeated requests, the Delhi water minister alleged.

Asserting that this “unfortunate incident (woman’s death) is not the only such case of its kind in the context of Delhi”, he said many such incidents over water scarcity have happened in the past primarily due to the failure of the government.

Drawing attention to the 2023-24 Economic Survey, Saxena outlined the dismal growth in water treatment capacity over the past decade. Despite a 15 per cent increase in population, water treatment capacity has risen by a mere 4.4 per cent, exacerbating the shortfall in water supply, which stands at around 290 MGD.

Saxena pointed out that the percentage of “unaccounted for water” i.e. a sum of water leakages by way of transmission and distribution losses, water theft and non-payment of dues saw a sharp increase from 45 per cent in 2015 to 58 per cent in 2022-2023.

He emphasised that net water availability has decreased by over 100 MGD due to the government’s negligence.

“It simply points to the fact that there has been no effort whatsoever during the last 10 years for plugging the leaks and we seem to be spending thousands of crores in pumping water into a leaking bucket,” the L-G said.

(With PTI inputs)

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#Arvind Kejriwal #VK Saxena


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