Staff Reporter

`She is keeping the people of Delhi thirsty'

  • `Citizens are being punished for opposing her water privatisation plan'
  • `The Lokayukta has also held her guilty and made serious comments on DJB'

    NEW DELHI: The Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for the acute water crisis in the city and charged that the citizens were being punished by her for opposing the Rs.48,000-crore water privatisation plan.

    Addressing a joint press conference, Delhi BJP president Harsh Vardhan and Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Jagdish Mukhi alleged that after committing huge bungling in privatisation of power, as exposed by the Public Accounts Committee, Ms. Dikshit had planned to dispose of valuable properties of the Delhi Jal Board worth hundreds of crores to foreign companies under the garb of privatisation.

    "Since the water scam worth Rs. 48,000 crore was exposed before it could take shape and the plan failed, the Chief Minister now wants to take revenge by keeping the people of Delhi thirsty," the two leaders charged.

    They said the Chief Minister had assigned the work of assessment to a foreign company, Pricewater House Cooper, for evaluation of the assets of the Delhi Jal Board. For this purpose this company was provided office space on the first floor of the Delhi Jal Board headquarters at Jhandewalan and was granted advance of crores of rupees, they added.

    Alleging that while the Chief Minister had already surreptitiously privatised more than half the work of DJB, they said she wanted to benefit by disposing of the entire organisation.

    They said the Lokayukta had also held her guilty in the case and made serious comments on the working of DJB. But instead of ordering an impartial probe, Ms. Dikshit, who is also the chairperson of DJB, gave a clean chit to it by finishing all the cases, they said.

    Referring to the former CEO of DJB, Rakesh Mohan, who has been booked by Central Bureau of Investigation in a corruption case, the BJP leaders said he had himself admitted that 66 per cent of the water supplied by DJB is lost in leakage and theft.

    They said the CBI should also probe all the expenditures, tenders, contracts on cleaning of drains, sewers, water supply and maintenance work of the Board so that the big fish are also sent behind bars.

    "The CEO of DJB was raided in connection with a small tender work, but the Chairperson of the DJB has been let off. Stern action should be initiated against her,'' they said.

    Theft

    On the large-scale incidence of water theft, Dr. Vardhan said the Chief Minister had admitted that there are about 100 such points from where the water mafia steals water directly from the pipelines of DJB, adding that this mafia also exploits 100 million gallons of ground water daily through boring.

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