Atishi seeks probe into collusion of water mafia with top officials

  • | Thursday | 13th June, 2024

Delhi Water Minister Atishi wrote to Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena on Wednesday, demanding the formation of an inquiry committee on the possible collusion of the Chief Secretary and CEO of Delhi Jal Board (DJB) with illegal tanker mafias amid the national capital reeling under intense heatwave conditions. She also requested the LG to deploy an ACP-level police officer to patrol the stretch of Munak Canal in Delhi to ensure that no illegal water filling activity happens there.  "There is a need for an enquiry into potentially collusion by senior officers in the Delhi government with the tanker mafia because it seems that there has been deliberate and substantial reduction of the tankers deployed by the Delhi Jal Board in the last one year," she claimed. Citing numbers, Atishi said that in January last year, 1,179 tankers were deployed by the Delhi Jal Board and this number was 1,203 in June the same year.  "However, this number was reduced to 888 in January 2024 without any approval from me. In fact, without any consultation with me. I repeatedly kept flagging the issue of grievances regarding water tanker shortage and asking the CEO DJB to increase the number of tankers, but he did not do so," she alleged. Atishi said when a severe water crisis started and she threatened to "investigate this collusion in an open meeting", were the number of tankers increased. "Even now the number of water tankers deployed by the DJB is lesser than June 2023, while there are much more severe heat wave conditions and a far greater shortage of water. Common sense says that the number of water tankers deployed by the DJB should have been more in this heat wave than in the previous years," the minister said. Atishi recalled the June 10 meeting with the LG and said that he had shown some photographs of private tankers filling water from the Delhi stretch of the CLC (carrier line channel) and DSB (Delhi sub-branch), sub-branches of the Munak Canal. "Since Delhi cannot afford any loss of water at a time of such acute heat wave and water crisis, I would like to request the Hon ble LG to depute an ACP level police officer to patrol the Delhi stretch of the Munak Canal so that no private tankers can illegally fill water from there," she said. Further, Atishi has tasked ADM-SDM level officers to monitor the water pipeline to prevent leakage and wastage. Additionally, she has instructed a team of Tehsildars and other officials to form a Quick Response Team to arrange water tankers and address water-related complaints promptly. In written communication, Delhi Revenue Minister Atishi directed the Chief Secretary to ensure that Quick Response Teams shall monitor and inspect the main water distribution network, from primary water sources to our water treatment plants and from WTPs to primary UGRs. Minister Atishi further instructs, "These teams shall inspect the major pipelines to ensure that there is NO leakage in any pipeline and if there is any leakage, it must be repaired within 12 hours. At this time of water shortage, not a single drop of water can be wasted." "A daily compiled report of all the inspections made in this regard by every Quick Response Team to be submitted to the office of the Minister (Ms. Atishi) by 5:00 PM every day," the letter concludes.

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