Delhi Jal Board (DJB) vice-chairman Raghav Chadha Tuesday said four Central government agencies and the three MCDs in the city have pending dues worth Rs 6,811 crore that they owe to the DJB for water supply and sewerage services. The Central agencies include Indian Railways, which owes Rs 3,283 crore, the Central Public Works Department, owing Rs 189 crore, Delhi Development Authority Rs 128 crore and the Delhi Police Rs 614 crore, he said.
The North MCD owes Rs 2,466 crore, South MCD Rs 80 crore and East MCD Rs 49 crore.
Speaking at the Delhi Secretariat, Chadha said, “… the pandemic and all other factors have now 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 full and final payment is recovered.”
Chadha said bills of some agencies have been pending since 2013 and many opportunities have been given to them in the past for payment, with notices also being sent.
Earlier this month, the DJB issued “last opportunity” show cause notices to the seven agencies and departments.
A notice to a CPWD executive engineer, issued on September 5, said, “A last opportunity for clearance of outstanding dues is being provided through this show cause notice, within 30 days from the service of this notice, failing which warrant of distress under Section 87(1) of Delhi Water Board Act, 1998, and attachment of the moveable property and bank account will be issued for the recovery.”
Chadha added, “In the notices sent to these departments, some departments have written to us and sought clarification. We are confident that they will definitely fulfill their financial obligations.”
North MCD standing committee chairman Chhail Bihari Goswami said the corporation does not owe any outstanding bills to the DJB. “They are lying because they want to hide their own faults. They haven’t paid their liabilities to the corporation in the first place,” he said.
South MCD mayor Anamika Mithilesh alleged Chadha has made a false statement: “The Delhi government has rajaswa (revenue dues) worth Rs 1,100 crore to the MCD that they haven’t paid.” East MCD mayor Nirmal Jain said, “There are no such bills pending from our side.”
Northern Railways chief PRO Deepak Kumar said, “Railway is regularly paying monthly water bills to DJB for water supply. However, Railway has reservations with regard to significant number of water bills, as some connections do not exist on site, and large number of connections are unmetered. Railway has made references to DJB for the same.”
He said, “However, water bills of each connection need to be reconciled jointly by DJB and Railway officials, along with site survey. The payment of the reconciled amount thus arrived will be made.”
An official from CPWD additional director general, Delhi region, S C Bhardwaj’s office said their financial department has recently cleared some outstanding dues. Bhardwaj could not be reached for a comment.
Spokespersons of the DDA and the Delhi Police did not respond to queries.
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