‘Miserable Hygiene’: LG Saxena Slams Delhi Govt for Not Addressing Water Quality Issues, AAP Hits Back

Last Updated: May 09, 2023, 06:20 IST

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal (left), Delhi L-G VK Saxena (right). (File PTI photos)

Delhi gets around 40 per cent raw water from the Yamuna through Haryana and the rest from the Ganga from Uttar Pradesh and Bhakra Nangal from Punjab

Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena on Monday criticised the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) for not addressing the “miserable hygiene and sanitary conditions” that he had flagged at the Wazirabad Water Treatment Plant almost two months ago.

Reacting to it, the Delhi government alleged that the LG was trying to divert attention from the illegal sand mining in Haryana and the dumping of industrial waste in the Yamuna river in the neighbouring state.

Delhi gets around 40 per cent raw water from the Yamuna through Haryana and the rest from the Ganga from Uttar Pradesh and Bhakra Nangal from Punjab.

The Wazirabad Barrage on the Yamuna in north Delhi is the primary holding area where raw water is lifted for the Wazirabad and Chandrawal treatment plants.

According to a note issued by the LG Office, the DJB submitted a report to the chief secretary on April 6 without addressing the issue of water quality being supplied from the Wazirabad and Chandrawal water treatment plants.

It said the utility did not submit a plan for the desilting of the pondage area supplying raw water to these treatment plants, nor did it detail any action it intends to take against erring officials.

“The shortcomings and directions mentioned in my note have not been addressed in true letter and spirit. Despite my clear direction to expedite de-silting/cleaning of the pondage area at the Wazirabad Barrage, the timelines drawn not only reflect lack of urgency, it also does not fix accountability upon those concerned,” the note quoted the LG as saying.

In a fresh note to the chief secretary, the LG said, “It is again emphasised that providing potable drinking water of adequate standard to the citizens of Delhi is the foremost responsibility of the DJB, which should never be compromised. Any dereliction in this regard should be immediately identified and exemplary action initiated against the erring officers/officials.”

“However, from the conclusions, suggestions and actions proposed in the instant report, it is discerned that my concerns have not received the expected response. The reasoning adduced in respect of the grave lapses observed during my inspection are unacceptable,” he said.

Lt Governor Saxena said “major” penalty proceedings are required to be initiated against all the officers named in the report submitted by the DJB.

The role of other officers should be re-examined to ascertain any negligence on their part and action should be taken, he said, asking the DJB to furnish an action taken report (ATR) within 15 days.

Water Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said the LG should explain why he hasn’t acted against the principal secretary, finance, who has been “sitting on the DJB’s funds for months”.

“The LG is trying to divert attention from Haryana’s illegal sand mining and industrial waste dumping in the Yamuna. He is resorting to low-level politics on a sensitive matter like drinking water supply,” Bharadwaj alleged.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)

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