Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the AAP Government will be able to provide 24 hours water supply to residents in the coming four-five years. Kejriwal was speaking at Neeti Bagh Club on the topic of ‘water leakage prevention’ on Tuesday. Addressing the gathering, he said that the way migration is taking place towards urban areas and population is exploding, water is certainly to be a major challenge in the coming days.
Highlighting the findings of Niti Aayog, he said that the planning body has come out with a list of 21 cities which are going to face a major water crisis and it includes Delhi also. "I believe that water is going to be a major challenge in the coming days, but I am of the view that the Niti Aayog report is a bit alarmist. I can say that the kind of steps the Delhi Government is taking in regard to water conservation, the national capital will not face any alarming situation on water front," Kejriwal said.
"I would like to inform you that in 2015, when we assumed office only 58 per cent of Delhiites was getting piped water and rest of areas of Delhi was being supplied water through tankers but today within four and a half years, the number of Delhiites getting piped water has significantly risen to 93 per cent," he added.
Elaborating it further, he said "We took it upon ourselves as a mission to provide piped drinking water to entire Delhi. There are legal difficulties in the remaining seven percent areas. Barring these, in all other areas of Delhi there will get piped water during the next year and a half," the chief minister said.
Stressing that the Government is now also focusing on water management, he said that currently some areas get one hour water supply, some get half an hour, and some areas get supply in the morning while some get in the evening. "I am aware about the areas which get water supply at 3 AM and even at midnight. All this needs to be made systematic and as a first step water conservation will be the major initiative, water recharging and water recycling is being taken up on priority," he said.
Talking about water conservation to mitigate the problem of water scarcity in Delhi, Kejriwal said that Delhi Government has made effective and elaborate plans on this front to reduce dependent on Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for water supply.
"There is so much water during monsoon which Haryana cannot store and releases it into Yamuna. During rains in a single day, Haryana releases six lakh cusecs of water into Yamuna and with no other option; Delhi releases this water to Uttar Pradesh. If we can store this water, and if we store single day's water during rain for recharging, we can solve Delhi's water shortage problem, he said. We have started a pilot to recharge water on 40 acres of land on Yamuna floodplains by creating an underground natural reservoir by removing the top soil cover, he said, adding that the idea is that natural reservoirs will allow the rainwater from overflowing Yamuna to percolate downwards and this will help in increasing the ground water level to a great extent. Kejriwal also announced that the government will launch a mega-project on 1500 acres of Yamuna floodplains next year if the exiting plan is successful.