Delhi

Without water for two months, DU students protest; DJB intervenes

: It took online petitions and a late-night protest on the streets of the campus for residents of a Delhi University hostel complex to finally get their water crisis addressed, months after the shortage first started.

The Dhaka Hostel Complex in Delhi University, which includes the Under-Graduate Hostel for Girls and the Rajiv Gandhi Hostel for Girls, had been plagued with a serious water shortage for the past two months. The students had written letters to hostel and university officials; sat through long meetings with the authorities; started a petition on Change.org; and eventually ended up coming out on the streets late on Saturday night.

Delhi Jal Board (DJB) chairperson Kapil Mishra said he received a call at 11.20 p.m. on Saturday from the Station House Officer of Maurice Nagar police station that about 250 young women were protesting water shortage in their hostels.

“When we got there, we were shocked to hear that on a campus like DU, students had been suffering for so long. The toilets were not clean because they didn’t have water. What was more shocking was that the DJB did not know,” said Mr. Mishra.

Mr. Mishra, accompanied by top DJB officials and engineers, held a meeting on Sunday with student representatives and hostel officials. “There was sheer negligence and insensitivity on behalf of authorities,” said Mr. Mishra.

Harleen Kaur, a Rajiv Gandhi hostel resident who had started the petition on Change.org, said the students were being told that the supply from the DJB was short. “They kept telling us that there was nothing they could do. But, Mr. Mishra informed us that the DJB supply was adequate,” said Ms. Kaur.

Mr. Mishra said the hostel authorities had blamed the DJB for the shortage, but appeared to be “passing the buck”. “The water bills showed that about 1.5 lakh litres of water was being supplied by us. But students weren’t getting any of it in the last two months. The problem was not in the DJB network, but the university’s own,” said Mr. Mishra.

Though shortage of water started in September, the last two months had been particularly bad as an internal pipeline in DU had been damaged.

“We would wake up with no water to brush our teeth or have a bath. Apart from that, the drinking water was so bad that many of us developed typhoid, IBS etc.,” said Ms. Kaur.

Professor S. Annapoorni, the provost of the Rajiv Gandhi hostel, admitted that there had been water shortage, but said that the university’s engineering department was repairing it.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mishra said that the DJB would give additional tankers to the complex till the pipeline was repaired.



The water bills showed that about 1.5 lakh litres of water was being supplied by us. But students weren’t getting any of it the past two months

Kapil Mishra,DJB Chairperson



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Printable version | Dec 4, 2020 2:40:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/without-water-for-two-months-du-students-protest-djb-intervenes/article8518100.ece

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