White Paper on cleaning of sewer lines demanded

"Crores siphoned off in the name of cleaning drains ''

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The president of the Delhi unit of Bharatiya Janata Party, Harsh Vardhan, demanded on Monday that the Chief Minister issue a White Paper on the arrangements made for cleaning all the small and big drains and sewer lines in the Capital before the onset of the coming monsoon.

In a statement, Dr. Vardhan said while the rainy season is going to start soon, the work of cleaning the drains has still not started in right earnest. All the 28 drains are choked with silt, he charged, adding that the main sewer lines were also blocked. With just 13 days to go for June 25, the official date for arrival of the monsoon in Delhi, he wondered how the Delhi Government intended to complete the task by then. The BJP leader also alleged that every year crores of rupees were siphoned off in the name of cleaning the drains and sewers and that this is done by vested interests in connivance with the Delhi Government and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi employees. Very often, he said, the work takes place on papers only and labourers clean up the big drains.

Charging that sudden rains in the past few days had exposed the state of preparedness for the monsoon, Dr. Vardhan demanded that the Chief Minister reveal the names of the persons who had indulged in bungling of crores of rupees in the name of cleaning of drains. He said if the guilty were not punished then the misappropriation of public money would continue.

Also raising the issue of safety of labourers engaged in the cleaning of sewers and drains, he said, many of them become victims of poisonous gases but still the people due to whose negligence they have to pay with their lives get away scot-free.

Pointing out that the National Human Rights Commission had asked the Delhi Jal Board to report on the death of labourers entering the drains and sewers, Dr. Vardhan said panicked at the query, the Delhi Jal Board had announced constitution of a security and catastrophe management department and had claimed that it will become functional from June 15.

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