Much of the problem is due to non-commissioning of Munak canal: Sheila

With the temperature rising, the heat over the acute water crisis staring large parts of the Capital in the face was also felt in the Delhi Assembly on Thursday as members of the Opposition BJP raised the issue prompting Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to admit that much of the city’s problem had to do with the non-commissioning of the Munak canal.

Replying to a question by Moti Nagar MLA Subhash Sachdeva on the functioning of the underground reservoirs, Ms. Dikshit said in the last five years 24 UGRs have been set up in Delhi. But, she admitted that while 13 of them were operational, the Government has not been able to get the remaining 10 working due to lack of water. “These UGRs cannot be filled with tankers and the alternative methods of getting water to them are also not easy.’’

Ms. Dikshit said the Government was hoping to get the water from the Munak canal soon to resolve the water issue. “The problem is more due to the Munak canal issue,’’ she said, adding that it was during the rule of Om Prakash Chautala as Chief Minister that the water was promised to Delhi.

However, Ms. Dikshit said, “like last time we would not allow any shortage of water. We will send water tankers with GPS on them so that we know their movement.’’

On the issue of leakage or theft of piped water, Ms. Dikshit urged the members to bring the matter directly to her notice in the event of a major problem.

Bijwasan MLA Sat Prakash Rana said Outer Delhi areas were suffering immensely due to the water crisis.

But it was Palam MLA Dharam Deo Solanki who spoke most vociferously on the issue. He charged that while in the last nine years he has been constantly raising the issue of water crisis in his area, the Government has done little to ameliorate it.

He even alleged that water which was being supplied to his constituency had been diverted elsewhere and BJP represented areas were being discriminated against.

At this Ms. Dikshit claimed that there was no discrimination and the problem was only on account of non availability of adequate raw water, primarily due to the lack of supply from Munak canal.

However, the House was thrown into turmoil as Mr. Solanki charged that the water was being diverted for the benefit of a private person. When the Speaker got the name expunged, the BJP members protested and at this Speaker adjourned the House for 40 minutes.

Earlier, as soon as the Question Hour began, the BJP members led by Leader of Opposition V.K. Malhotra first raised the issue of the Chief Minister being allowed to make a statement against him for writing a letter to the Lieutenant Governor in the matter of Lokayukta’s order on a complaint against the Speaker. As the Speaker persisted with the proceedings of the Question Hour, some of the BJP members staged a walk out to register their protest.

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