‘Difficult to wean away those getting free water’

educing the charges for new water and sewer connections has not done much to encourage illegal users to switch to paid connections, Delhi Jal Board officials have admitted.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, which came to power last February, had made it a goal to get residents of unauthorised colonies to get legal connections after being added to the piped network. The scheme of reduced water and sewer development charges has recently been extended for another six months, but so far only 1.4 lakh consumers have benefitted from it, as per the DJB’s own admission.

The charges were reduced by nearly 80 per cent to a flat rate of Rs.100 per square metre for properties in D, E, F, G and H categories of unauthorised colonies. To be eligible, the plot has to be up to 200 square metres and being utilised for domestic or mixed use only.

“This policy has not had a big impact on new connections, but we had not anticipated it as well,” said a senior DJB official.

In fact, an AAP MLA admitted that most people were still unwilling to switch over to metered connections.

“On a recent visit, residents of an unauthorised colony told me that the charges were still too high. But, then I pointed out that they had expensive two-wheelers parked outside their homes. They were not ready to pay for water as they have been getting it for free,” said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA.

The total number of new water connections has gone up over the past year, with a 9.19 per cent increase from March 1, 2015 to February 1, 2016.

R.S. Tyagi, the DJB Member (water supply), said: “We are working towards regularising connections in unauthorised colonies as we provide piped water to them.”

Of the 1,639 unauthorised colonies in Delhi, 1,105 colonies have been extended piped water as of now, with 205 of them being added in the past one year.

Of the 1,639 unauthorised colonies in Delhi, 1,105 colonies have piped water now

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 1:30:10 AM |

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