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Last Updated : Dec 30, 2013 12:18 PM IST | Source: IBNLive.com

Delhi Jal Board to meet at 4 pm, may announce free water

On Christmas day, Kejriwal had vowed to implement the free water scheme in every household within 24 hours of assuming office. Kejriwal had also transferred the CEO of the Delhi Jal Board Debashree Mukherjee and brought in Vijay Kumar in her place.


Undeterred by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's ill health, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government is likely to take a decision over fulfilling the promises it made to the people of Delhi. Delhi Jal Board officials will be meeting on Monday at 4 pm and an announcement on 700 litres of free water per day is likely to be made. Kejriwal who is currently unwell was scheduled to chair the meet.


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Kejriwal earlier in the day had tweeted about his illness and expressed regret about not being able to attend office. "Running 102 fever since yesterday. Severe loose motions. Sad that I won't be able to attend office today," Kejriwal tweeted.

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"It was so important to attend office today. We had planned the water announcement. God, bahut galat time par bimaar kiya. (God, you have made me ill at the wrong time)," he added. Kejriwal was scheduled to chair a meeting of Delhi Jal Board officials on Monday to discuss ways to provide free 700 litres of water to every household as promised by him.


On Christmas day, Kejriwal had vowed to implement the free water scheme in every household within 24 hours of assuming office. Kejriwal had also transferred the CEO of the Delhi Jal Board Debashree Mukherjee and brought in Vijay Kumar in her place.


However, Kejriwal has been criticised for transferring her for pointing out that free water would cost a huge subsidy to the government. "The CEO of Jal Board was transferred because she pointed out losses the government will suffer," former Delhi chief secretary Umesh Sehgal said.


Questions have always been raised over the practicality of all his poll promises including 50 per cent cut in electricity tariff. Some experts are already debating if the AAP's promises of 700 litres of free water and a 50 per cent slash in electricity tariff is really a possibility or not.


According to the Census 2011 data, 28 per cent of Delhi is not covered by treated water supply. The current demand is nearly 1100 million gallons a day of which only 835 million is being supplied.


There are also inadequate pumping stations leading to low pressure or no supply in tail-end colonies. There needs to be a massive upgrade of water supply infrastructure across Delhi which is likely to take approximately three to five years.


"There is inequitable distribution of water. It will take time to arrange equitable water supply," said Sanjay Sharma, a water consultant who advised the AAP.

Water and electricity were two of the most important poll agendas for the AAP and even though experts are doubtful about the practicality of the promises they have made, Arvind Kejriwal is confident that AAP will be able to implement these changes.



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First Published on Dec 30, 2013 12:08 pm
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