A day after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sought the Centre’s intervention to provide 24-hour water supply to the city’s residents, Leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri slammed him for blaming the Central government to conceal “his failures”.
Mr. Bidhuri said the ruling Aam Aadmi Party’s promise of a 24-hour water supply has been proven to be a “bluff”.
“Mr. Kejriwal came to power promising 24-hour water supply in Delhi even when he knew that it was not possible,” the BJP MLA added.
On Sunday, the Chief Minister urged that the Centre provide Delhi with 1,300 million gallons per day (MGD) of water to ensure 24x7 supply to all households.
Mr. Kejriwal had also said that the city’s water allocation from the Ganga and Yamuna rivers had remained at 800-850 MGD since 1997-98, while its population had grown from 80 lakh then to around 2.5 crore now.
Mr. Bidhuri said the Centre never promised all-day water supply, adding, “The CM is trying to create an illusion that because the Centre did not give Delhi water, it is not getting a 24-hour supply.”
The LoP also stated that the AAP government’s various schemes and announcements have “proven to be hollow”.
‘Arrangement’ with H.P.
“Mr. Kejriwal had claimed he would take 200 MGD of water from Himachal Pradesh and that an agreement was reached in November 2019 at the rate of ₹32 per thousand cubic feet. But neither was that money given nor any arrangement made to bring water.
“Similarly, Mr. Kejriwal claimed 300 MGD of water would be stored in Palla, and 250 ranney wells and 100 tube wells would be installed. But the Kejriwal government failed to implement these as well,” Mr. Bidhuri added.
He also alleged that the AAP government had promised that groundwater would be recharged by reviving water bodies in Bhalswa, Timarpur, Nilothi and Iradat Nagar. “Crores of rupees were spent on this scheme but not a single drop of water was found.”
The Delhi government did not issue any response to Mr. Bidhuri’s charges at the time of writing this article.
According to the Economic Survey of Delhi, 2021-22, the total water requirement in Delhi is 1,380 MGD for an estimated population of 2.3 crore, based on the norm of 60 gallons per capita per day.