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L-G blasts government over water problem in open letter to CM

In an open letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday, Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena of Delhi brought up the problem of water shortages in the capital.

He said that the woman’s death in a brawl over getting water symbolizes the shortcomings of the administration.

In response to Atishi’s worries, Saxena wrote a letter that was placed on Raj Niwas’s X account. She brought up a terrible event that happened in Shahdara when a lady was tragically killed following a dispute over access to tap water because of a scarcity. Atishi had accused the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) officials of incompetence and placed them firmly at fault for the woman’s death.

The L-G said, “Atishi has ironically indicted her own government of more than nine years,” accusing her of using the woman’s passing for “narrow political goals.” Her message does seem to be a first acknowledgment of blame for her past almost ten years of inactivity and ineptitude.

Retaliating against Saxena, Atishi accused him of putting an end to DJB’s creations. The Delhi water minister said that the L-G supported the personnel who caused obstructions to work and did nothing to stop them in spite of repeated demands.

He said that several instances of water shortages have occurred in the past, mostly as a result of government incompetence, and that this “unfortunate incident (woman’s death) is not the only such case of its kind in the context of Delhi.”

Saxena drew reference to the 2023–24 Economic Survey while outlining the pathetic 10-year increase in water treatment capacity. The population has increased by 15%, while the water treatment capacity has only increased by 4.4%, making the approximately 290 MGD water supply deficit worse.

According to Saxena, there was a notable surge in the proportion of “unaccounted for water,” which includes water theft, transmission and distribution losses, and non-payment of dues. This rate went from 45% in 2015 to 58% in 2022–2023.

He emphasized that because of the government’s carelessness, net water availability has dropped by more than 100 MGD.

The L-G said, “It just highlights the fact that there has been zero effort for the past ten years to plug the leaks and we appear to be spending thousands of crores in pumping water into a leaking bucket.”

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