Demand for White Paper explaining how Govt. intends to provide adequate drinking water

Taking up the issue of the Capital’s water bodies drying up for lack of proper care and upkeep, Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party president Vijay Goel on Thursday demanded a White Paper from the State Government explaining how it intends to provide adequate drinking water to the citizens.

Following a visit to Sanjay Jheel in East Delhi, Mr. Goel said he was shocked to see the condition of the water bodies and has constituted a team of party workers to visit the various water bodies in the city and draft a report on their condition.

Mr. Goel cautioned that in the absence of early intervention Delhi could be headed for a severe water crisis this year as 263 water bodies in South Delhi, South-West Delhi and North Delhi have dried up completely.

“This was also the main reason behind scarcity of water on Holi,” he said.

Besides, he said, it had also been pointed out by residents that water in the remaining water bodies was not fit for drinking and that many had also been illegally encroached upon.Quoting a report, he said there were a total of 1,022 water bodies under the jurisdiction of various government agencies. “The Government claims that so far 219 water bodies have been saved. This raises the question why the rest of the 800-odd water bodies are not in a good condition despite crores of rupees having been spent in their name.’’

“The Government has admitted that about 75 water bodies have become sewers and about 150 have become victims of encroachment. Besides this illegal construction has taken place on 800 water bodies,” he added.

Mr. Goel said last year National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) had also issued a report in which it was mentioned that in the samples of ground water in South Delhi, South-West Delhi, Central and North Delhi, the quantity of fluoride and nitrate was more than the prescribed limit.

“Due to this there was danger of digestive and bone diseases among the people drinking water from bore well in these areas. NEERI had also found that there is dangerous quantity of lead in the ground water near Najafgarh drain and the ground water in East Delhi was not worth drinking,’’ he said, wondering why the Delhi Government has not acted in the matter thus far.