LG Saxena writes open letter to CM opposing OTS water bill scheme

| | New Delhi
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LG Saxena writes open letter to CM opposing OTS water bill scheme

Thursday, 29 February 2024 | Staff Reporter | New Delhi

After the Arvind Kejriwal government passed a unanimous resolution over one time settlement (OTS) scheme issue to settle water bill dues in the House of Delhi Assembly, Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena has written an open letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal opposing the move saying ‘not a single piece of paper brought to LG’s notice, officially or unofficially’ with regard the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s ‘Water Scheme’.

In a seven-page letter  Saxena said, “Water, Finance, Urban Development, all departments concerned with this scheme are fully and totally under CM’s control. LG has no role whatsoever. Not a single piece of paper brought to LG’s notice, officially or unofficially in this regard.” He has also asked the Speaker to expunge the area in the resolution that mentions ‘the BJP exercises direct control over the Lieutenant Governor’.

 “I am writing to convey my grave objection to the supposed “Unanimous Resolution” adopted by the Delhi Legislative Assembly on 19.02.2024, as conveyed to my Secretariat by the Secretary of the Legislative Assembly Secretariat. The penultimate paragraph mentions that ‘the BJP exercises direct control over the Hon’ble LG’. This is a completely unacceptable and irresponsible assertion, which does not behove the members, who endorsed it,” read the L-G’s letter.

 “Your statements are white lies, again an example of typical abuse and scoot game, which you seem to have mastered and made a career out of. While you and your government have done nothing substantive for the development of Delhi and its residents in almost all spheres, you have blamed all and sundry – successive Governments at the Centre since 2013, successive LGs. the Congress Party, the BJP and even government servants, in a bid to maintain the charade that you have created through repeated lies perpetuated by an incessant publicity campaign,” he wrote. He said the Delhi Jal Board (Water), the Urban Development Department and the Finance Department are transferred subjects, fully and totally under the control of the respective ministers. “The said ‘scheme’ that is purportedly being stopped by me has never ever been brought to me, even on a single piece of paper,” said the LG.

“You are saying that there are 27 lakh water consumer connections in Delhi, of which about 10 lakh have not paid their bills and you aim to benefit them.  I advise you that if at all something like waiving of bills, penalties, LPSC and arrears of 10 lakh consumers is being considered, the payments made by the remaining 17 lakh consumers, who have paid their bills all these years honestly, should also be reimbursed, along with interest,” LG said. “The decision with regards to “one-time settlement scheme” was taken by the Delhi Jal Board on 13th January, 2023. The same was sent to Finance Department, GNCTD for comments on 25th January, 2024 (i.e. after a gap of one year).   Subsequently, the  Minister recorded his directions on file regarding this ‘scheme’ and sent it to the Chief Secretary as late as on 21st February, 2024, clearly indicating that the supposed ‘scheme’ was yet in the process of formulation and was far from reaching any finality,” he said.

Saxena also said in the letter that, “One is forced to wonder as to why the minister kept sitting on the proposed scheme for more than one year… Moreover, the resolution passed by the Assembly mentions the date of approval of the said scheme as 13.06.2023. The timelines and decisions, as indeed the timing of the entire political exercise that has now been undertaken, very clearly point towards a convoluted game of blaming others for your own failures, rather than actually doing anything whatsoever to help the people of Delhi as far as this scheme is concerned.”

“Your (Kejriwal) intentions, therefore, I repeat are, apparently not to implement any ‘scheme’ or benefit any section of the society, but only to mislead the people by creating a false political narrative – as has been your customary behaviour,” read the letter.

“The timing of this manipulated false political exercise makes it obvious that it has been undertaken to deviously distract and divert the attention of the people of Delhi from the abject failures on part of GNCTD in addressing critical issues facing the people of Delhi and charges of corruption that are being probed,” he said.

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