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Hardlook: Delhi govt lines up action plan, looks at offering incentive

With the Jat agitation for reservation last month seeing damage to Munak Canal, the only route from Haryana for water to be fed to Delhi’s water treatment plants, the capital stared at a crisis

AAp, AAP govt, Arvind Kejriwal, water, water problem, summer action plan, water summer action, plan, water needs, delhi water needs, delhi news     A child in Sanjay Colony does her bit to store water. Amit Mehra

Maintaining that not even a single state is self-dependent when it comes to natural resources, Delhi water minister Kapil Mishra says the capital is dependent on Yamuna and not Haryana for its water supply.

With the Jat agitation for reservation last month seeing damage to Munak Canal, the only route from Haryana for water to be fed to Delhi’s water treatment plants, the capital stared at a crisis. Mishra maintains the Yamuna belongs to everyone, but believes the government has to find ways to be more self-dependent. For the summer months, the government is preparing an action plan. “The Summer Action Plan be finalised by the end of the month (March),” says Mishra.

To ensure law and order issues in Haryana do not hurt Delhi, Mishra says that in the Summer Action Plan, the department is formulating schemes that will enable Delhi to survive without assistance for at least a week. “We need to have backup reservoirs that will feed water to the plants for a week to 10 days. For that we are considering cultivating our lakes such as Bhalswa, Naini and Sanjay.”

He adds, “We know that without Yamuna water, Delhi cannot survive and we have legal right over Yamuna water. Having said that, we also know that measures have to be taken to improve water supply in the city. The DJB is working extensively. I will hold meetings with the MLAs and experts to know the critical areas. We will review the areas and how the supply can be improved. We know there are a few places such as Sangam Vihar, Dwarka and few parts of Patel Nagar (that face problems).” The government is also looking at harvesting floodwater and rainwater, says Mishra. To popularise water harvesting schemes, the government is working to bring in a new scheme for those who collect rain water.

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“For people who have properties, residential, commercial or institutional, above 500 sq yards up to 2000 sq yards, it was mandated to have a rainwater harvesting unit. But as there was no incentive, people were not interested. We will propose a 10 per cent rebate in the water bill if they harvest water,” says Mishra.

According to the minister, talks are on with the PWD to use bus stands and stops for water harvesting. Discussions are also on with Metro officials . “We are in talks with DMRC to stop use of groundwater and use the treated water that we will supply. This way we will replenish groundwater and stop overuse,” says Mishra.

DJB has bought 250 new tankers to supply water to colonies that have not got piped connections yet. “There were 400 colonies that did not have piped water, of them, now 268 have it,” says Mishra.

First published on: 14-03-2016 at 12:33:36 am
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