Delhi’s water shortage may scorch election contestants this summer

Twesh Mishra New Delhi | Updated on May 07, 2019 Published on May 06, 2019

People Waiting to fill water from the tanker, which arrives once a day during morning hours near geeta colony in East Delhi   -  RV Moorthy

Water will take centrestage for candidates contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Delhi, as the State continues to reel under a severe shortage this summer.

They may face the voters’ ire and will have to address the issue. In addition to water supply, inadequate drainage facilities that lead to water logging in unauthorised colonies is also going to be a poll issue.

“The duration of water supply by the Delhi Jal Board has come down from what it used to be around a decade ago,” a West Delhi resident in a housing society said.

“We have an underground tank where water is stored to ensure that there are supplies throughout the day,” he added.

The Jal Board comes under the administrative control of the Delhi government. It is responsible for distribution of drinking water and disposal of domestic sewage in the capital.

The conditions are tough in 675 identified but unauthorised housing settlements (popularly known as Jhuggi-Jhompri or JJ clusters) across the city. According to the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, these JJ clusters dot the length and breadth of the city.

Piped water supply connections are not available for these homes, only community water taps.

The JJ Cluster behind Meridien Hotel at Dr Rajinder Prasad Road is spread over 884 square metres and has 124 households. “There is one tap for every 10 homes. Water is regularly supplied but there are insufficient discharge facilities. This situation has worsened over the past two years and we will ask anyone who comes to campaign here to address this issue,” a resident of the cluster said.

This cluster is in Central Delhi. It is smaller and better off than most of the clusters in other parts of the state.

On its part, the Delhi Jal Board has prepared a Summer Action Plan 2019 targeting a peak production of 936 million gallons per day (mgd) of potable water. This is 20 mgd more than the peak output during the summer of 2018. Despite the higher production, there will be a deficit of 300 mgd in the city according to the Delhi Jal Board’s own estimates.

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Published on May 06, 2019
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