Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has promised to alleviate the severe water woes faced by many residents of the national capital.
In a letter to the Aam Aadmi Party leader, the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People has outlined several measures that Kejriwal’s government can take to solve some of these problems.
The organisation has advised Kejriwal to democratise the governance of the Delhi Jal Board.
“The DJP is one of the most non-transparent, non participatory, unaccountable bodies. The steps suggested in AAP manifesto like putting daily readings of bulk water meters at each step are certainly welcome, but more steps are required in this line regarding the governance of the Board,” stated the letter.
It also points out that Delhi “gets more per capita water than Amsterdam, Paris, Bonn or most other European cities. Delhi should not be asking for any more water from new dam projects like the Renuka, Lakhwar and other dams. To move in that direction, DJB can be asked to prepare a plan for next 20 years (as a first step) assuming Delhi wont get any more water than it currently gets”.
The organisation also strongly recommends to the Delhi government that the practice of rainwater harvesting should be encouraged.
“Ask DJB to prepare a time-bound plan to ensure that there are functioning rainwater harvesting and use/ recharge systems in place at: All government buildings, all colleges, all schools, all institutions, all metros, all railway stations, all flyovers, all (over-ground) metro lines, all parks, all malls, all multiplexes, all commercial buildings”.
It also urges Kejriwal’s government to work towards increasing the efficacy of sewage treatment plants.
“Delhi has India’s largest installed capacity of STPs, but none are functioning as per the design in terms of quantity or quality of outputs,” states the letter.