Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Monday said the Delhi government would request more water allocation for the capital from the Centre, as population growth has increased demand over the years. He also said he believes his government will successfully provide 24-hour piped water supply to the whole of Delhi by 2024.
Speaking at the inauguration of a new water treatment plant at Chandrawal, he said 88% of all colonies in Delhi were getting piped water supply — an increase of 30% since AAP came to power in 2015.
“It is our mission that in the future, everyone in Delhi receives clean water straight from their taps, without requiring any additional filtration… I am optimistic that in the next three-four years, maximum by 2024, we will be successful in providing 24-hour, clean and piped water supply to every citizen,” the CM said.
Since coming to power, AAP has promised piped water to the whole of Delhi several times. But several blockages, such as availability of land and the haphazard way unauthorised colonies have come up, has meant that the project has progressed very slowly. In areas where there is no pipeline, water is supplied through tankers. For most of Delhi, illegal borewells are the primary source of water.
He added that around 200 colonies still don’t have pipelines and said work is underway and will be complete by 2021 in areas where laying lines is feasible. Manoj Misra, convener of the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, welcomed the government’s target but stressed that the Delhi Jal Board would have to manage water supply properly: “The main challenge they would face is availability of water. They can lay pipes, but whether these pipes will carry the required amount of water is another issue… Steps need to be taken to address water wastage and recycling water for non-potable purposes.”
Later in the day, Kejriwal met Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat demanding that Delhi’s water allocation be increased from 875 cusecs fixed in 1996. The minister said his ministry would examine the Delhi government’s proposal and give its opinion within three days of receiving it, said a statement from the CM’s office.
Shekhawat also tweeted a picture from the meeting, stating that he discussed the capital’s water issues with a CM-led delegation. The CM replied to the photo, saying: “The meeting with you was immensely constructive. We have to work together to get rid of Delhi’s water problems. Thank you very much.”
Delhi gets 70% of its water from the Yamuna, and the remaining comes other sources including the upper Ganga canal in Sonia Vihar and government-controlled borewells. The Chandrawal water treatment plant, expected to be completed by 2022, will supply an additional 477 million litres per day of water (105 MGD), DJB CEO Nikhil Kumar said.