With water being one of the main poll planks of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party in the upcoming Assembly polls, expectations of regular and clean supply is high among city residents. In areas lying south of the capital, where supply had been scant in 2015 around the previous Assembly elections, progress has been made in laying of pipelines and providing water — but problems still exist.
Among these is the Sangam Vihar constituency, one of the largest unauthorised colonies in the city, represented by AAP MLA and Delhi Jal Board (DJB) vice-chairman Dinesh Mohaniya.
People living in wards D and E of Sangam Vihar said piped water is being supplied in most areas after the lines were laid last year. However, the infrastructure does not appear to be complete in some pockets.
Pavan Jha (48), a resident of D ward of Sangam Vihar, claimed, “After the 2015 polls, a meeting was called by the local MLA to discuss problems faced by residents. We told him that water supply is one of the main issues. Five years have passed since but we still do not have a pipeline in our lane.”
In a lane adjacent to where he lives, residents claimed they get piped water. “We get water through a private borewell connection, for which we pay Rs 60 a month. But it’s unreliable; we might get water for five days, then it would stop suddenly,” said Jha.
The problem seems to be more acute in Deoli constituency, which also includes some wards of Sangam Vihar. Here, in wards K and K2, residents claimed supply from government-owned borewells comes once every 15 days, or in some cases, once every two to three months. Almost every house has multiple water tanks with a storage capacity of 500-1,000 litres.
Savita Nagar (42), said, “Water has always been the main problem here. We have streetlights, good roads, but water supply is missing. The Jal Board line, which supplies piped water from the Sonia Vihar water treatment plant, is there in other wards, but has not reached here. We are reduced to calling water tankers four times a month, paying Rs 500 each time.”
In ward C of Sangam Vihar, which also falls under Deoli constituency, workers were spotted laying a borewell pipeline Monday. Hasmuddin, a resident, said work was being done by a local association which works for the welfare of C ward residents. They pay Rs 60 per month for ground water.
Gautam, another resident, claimed two borewells were inaugurated in the ward in January by AAP’s Deoli MLA Prakash Jarwal, but both stopped pulling water after a couple of days and had to be sealed. “We all rely on tankers here,” he said.
Candidates from the ruling AAP said almost 70% of areas in Sangam Vihar and Deoli have been covered with pipelines, and water was being supplied almost regularly. The remaining work is expected to be completed in another two months.
Mohaniya said, “The circumstances were such that we did whatever was possible. Not everything was achieved and we have completed around 70% work. The remaining would also be completed soon. That’s what I’m telling people here during campaigning.”
His opponent, BJP’s Dr SCL Gupta, however claimed no pipelines have been laid in the area and people have either taken borewell connections or made unauthorised tappings to government pipelines running along the main roads with their own money. “The central pipe has been perforated so much that it will have to be replaced completely,” he said.
Jarwal, who is contesting from Deoli again, said, “People are now getting piped supply from Sonia Vihar once every seven days, and some every alternate day… The K ward was in a forest area, so it took 4.5 years to get permission to work on roads and water pipelines there. But 70% of houses are getting piped water from Sonia Vihar now and others from borewells and tanks.”
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