LG’s open letter to Arvind Kejriwal: “Delhi govt created chimera of free water”

In an open letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is now in prison, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi V K Saxena said that Water Minister Atishi had exploited the woman’s death in a battle over collecting water as a springboard for “narrow political goals” and that the episode reflected the government’s failure.

In response to Saxena’s open letter, Atishi retaliated, accusing him of being the reason for the suspension of Delhi Jal Board (DJB) operations.

CM Arvind Kejriwal with Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Vinai Kumar Saxena
Suspend DJB CEO, Atishi tells L-G after a Delhi woman’s fatal stabbing
A few days ago, the Delhi water minister wrote to the L-G requesting that he suspend the CEO of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) in light of the death of a lady in the northeastern Delhi neighborhood of Farsh Bazar who had gotten into a fight with her neighbor about using a shared faucet to get water.

In the letter, Atishi asked Saxena to “institute an independent enquiry into the acts of omission and commission of the chief secretary, as well as officers of the finance department, urban development department and DJB” .

A few days after their correspondence, Saxena sent an eloquent open letter to Kejriwal, who is incarcerated in Tihar prison following his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate on charges of money laundering related to the now-closed Delhi excise policy fraud case.

The Water Resources Minister of Delhi, Atishi, came under fire from the Lieutenant Governor (L-G), who said that she was using the woman’s passing for “narrow and partisan political goals.” The L-G noted in an open letter that Atishi had implicated her own administration of more than nine years in the disaster by pointing to an insufficient water supply as the reason. He characterized Atishi’s message as a first acknowledgement of blame, passivity, and incompetence throughout the previous almost 10 years.

The lieutenant governor chastised Atishi for disparaging the chief secretary, the chief executive officer of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), and the department heads of finance and urban development.

CM Arvind Kejriwal with Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Vinai Kumar Saxena
BJP requests that L-G undertake an investigation of DJB projects completed in the previous nine years.
The Lieutenant Governor (L-G) chastised the Delhi ministers for their habit of holding officials accountable for their shortcomings in a number of areas, such as water supply, sanitation, hospitals, health, and education. He was disappointed that Atishi, the minister of water resources, had not shown the maturity and self-control that one would expect from a person holding such a prominent position.

The Delhi Lieutenant Governor (L-G) cited the economic study that Atishi had provided, which showed that water treatment capacity had grown by a pitiful 4.4 percent over the previous ten years, from 906 MGD to 946 MGD.

He pointed out that the city’s population had grown by 15% in the same time frame, leaving an overall shortage in the water supply of around 290 MGD. Furthermore, he thought it was too dramatic to say that 120 MGD of water came from groundwater exploitation.

In addition, the L-G noted that a significant portion of the tubewells were non-functional, and that five of the sixteen Ranney wells were non-functional.

The Lieutenant Governor (L-G) emphasized in his open letter that the amount of “unaccounted water,” which comprises water lost as a result of theft, transmission and distribution losses, and failure to pay dues, increased dramatically from 45 percent in 2015 to 58 percent in 2022–2023.

The L-G also underlined that, of the 2.5 crore people living in the city, over two crore lack access to clean drinking water in one way or another, mostly in unapproved colonies and slum areas and, to a lesser extent, even in established, organized colonies.

“You and your ministers invented the phantom of free water instead of correcting the unsatisfactory water supply. You and your ministers have turned deceiving people into an art form, according to L-G Saxena.


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