Dixit pitches for reforms in water sector

Press Trust of India New Delhi | Updated on March 18, 2011 Published on March 18, 2011

The Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dixit, today said reforms on the lines of power sector can be brought in the city's water distribution system too, but only after a consensus is reached on the issue.

Answering a question in the Delhi Assembly about water supply problems, Ms Dixit said the water sector can also be revolutionised in the way reforms have been implemented in power distribution in the city.

The Delhi Government had privatised the distribution of electricity in the city several years ago.

The Chief Minister said reforms can be brought in only after consensus on the issue.

She also said a presentation on the issue of water sector reforms will be made in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and will be shown to all MLAs in May.

Last year, the government had initiated reform in water billing and installation of meter and had involved IT major Tata Consultancy Services in these two key areas.

The government had introduced electronic system of billing to plug the loopholes and help Delhi Jal Board in enhancing its revenue.

Officials had earlier said that in the next stage, the government may hand over maintenance of the water distribution network to private entities from the Delhi Jal Board.

The average demand of potable water in the city is around 1,100 mgd (million gallon per day) and currently DJB supplies around 800 mgd water.


In a first such direct swipe on the functioning of Lokayukta in the wake of its recommendation to sack the PWD Minister, Mr Raj Kumar Chauhan, Ms Dixit has said her Government was looking at making the corruption watchdog “more transparent” and “just.”

Ms Dixit, who has been facing mounting pressure both from her partymen as well as BJP following the Lokayukta's order against Mr Chauhan, said the Government will review the provisions of Lokayukta and Upa Lokayukta Act of 1995 but clarified that the move is not aimed at “clipping anybody's wings.”

“We will have a look at it. We will only do something which makes the system (Lokayukta's functioning) more transparent and appear to be more just. It is not aimed at clipping anybody's wings,” Ms Dixit told PTI.

The Opposition BJP has been stepping up pressure on Ms Dixit to remove Mr Chauhan following the Lokayukta order while a section of ruling Congress have been pressing for curtailing the powers of the corruption ombudsman as they feel the Lokayukta has been issuing notices to public functionaries “without even verifying the allegations.”

The Delhi Lokayukta, Justice Manmohan Sarin, had last month recommended sacking Mr Chauhan from the Cabinet for trying to protect a leading resort in a tax evasion case, holding him guilty of “misconduct” of “grave nature.”

In the order, the Lokayukta recommended to the President to “withdraw her pleasure” for the Minister to continue in office as he had “misused” his official position.

Published on March 18, 2011
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