As the city continues to grapple with long outages and water scarcity, senior Delhi BJP leader Ramesh Bidhuri on Tuesday accused Lt Governor Najeeb Jung of “failing” to resolve the problem and said his removal should be considered if the situation does not improve in the next few days.
Severely critical of Jung, Bidhuri, an MP from prestigious South Delhi constituency and General Secretary of Delhi BJP, said water and power crises have made life miserable for people in the sweltering heat and Jung must take all possible action to address the problem.
“His removal should be considered if the situation doesnot improve in the next few days,” said Bidhuri, who was part of party’s key election management team for both Assembly and Lok Sabha polls.
The national capital has been facing water and power crises since a devastating storm severely damaged the power transmission network on May 30. The outages have affected operations at a number of water treatment plants, resulting in scarcity of water in several areas. “We want concrete results as we had promised to the people that we will resolve their problems. The power and water crises must be resolved at the earliest. Otherwise, stern action should be considered,” Bidhuri, who was elected as an MLA from Tuglakabad constituency for three consecutive terms since 2003, said.
The BJP leader, however, rejected Congress’ criticism that the NDA government was responsible for the situation and accused the party of trying to gain political mileage from the issue.
“The criticism is totally unfounded. Congress was in power in Delhi for last 15 years. Manmohan Singhji was Prime Minister till May 15. Congress had appointed the Lt Governor. How can you blame NDA government which has come to power only a month back,” he said. Holding Congress responsible for the situation, Bidhuri said the Sheila Dikshit-led government did nothing to improve the power transmission network and water distribution system in the city.
“Some areas in South Delhi do not get water even inwinters, let alone summers. Most of the unauthorised colonies do not have basic facilities. The Congress government did nothing to address these issues,” he said. The current average demand for potable water in Delhi is around 1,100-mgd (million gallons per day) and the Delhi Jal Board supplies around 800-mgd water across the city after treating raw water at its plants.
The demand is projected to touch around 1,400-mgd by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan in 2017. Delhi relies heavily on neighbouring states such as Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for its supply of raw water. Bidhuri also demanded reform in the water sector and said there was a need to rationalise the water distribution system in the national capital.
“The water distribution system needs an overhaul. Largeparts of Delhi have been reeling under severe water shortage. We will have to address this serious issue,” he said. He also blamed the previous Dikshit dispensation for the “poor quality of life” in unauthorised colonies, saying it had done nothing to address the problems of around 40 lakh people living in an estimated 1,600 unauthorised colonies.
The Congress government had issued provisional regularisation certificates to 1,639 unauthorised colonies ahead of Assembly polls in 2008. It had in September 2012 announced that it would regularise 895 unauthorised colonies, but no notification has been issued till date in this regard.
Accusing Congress of “betraying” the residents ofunauthorised colonies, Bidhuri said the NDA government would provide relief to the residents of such settlements as the issue has already been taken up with Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu. “We have already talked to Venkaiah Naiduji. Our government will decide on this issue and provide relief to lakhs of residents of unauthorised colonies,” he said. Asked about the political scenario in Delhi, Bidhuri said the party was ready for Assembly elections.
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