Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, on Monday re-launched a scheme to regularise domestic unauthorised water connections in the city.
While Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has 22.54 lakh consumers only, it is estimated that majority of the 50 lakh electricity-connection holders in the Capital get piped water supply. This is through illegal, crude and unscientific tapping that leads to damage to the pipe network and loss of revenue to DJB. It is to plug this leakage that the government took the decision.
DJB officers, however, pointed out that currently, the scheme is applicable only to those areas which are already ‘notified’ by them.
This includes colonies like Hauz Rani, Govindpuri and Khirki in south of the city, but will not apply to slums and JJ clusters like Sanjay Camp, Indira Camp, etc. which are still off DJB map. Also, converting an unauthorised water connection into a legal one is not free of cost. An amount of Rs 3310 has to be paid, including for the sewage connection, which has been brought down substantially from the earlier Rs 27,000 that had a heavy penalty portion. The scheme will be in effect for three months till October this year.
The announcement was made at the 140th board meeting of DJB, headed by Chairperson Arvind Kejriwal, on Monday. He said, “There are a large number of illegal water connections in various parts of Delhi, especially in the unauthorized colonies. They are also utilizing water but cannot be accounted for and also lead to contamination.”
“Inspite of efforts made by DJB, large numbers of unauthorized water connections are still continuing in various unauthorized colonies. To overcome this problem the scheme is being relaunched,” he added. Earlier, it ran for a few months till September 2017, and DJB claimed to have added 31,000 new connections through it. Due to the crude tapping and resulting leakages in the pipe network, DJB estimates it loses 45-50 per cent of the 900 Million Gallons of water it supplies daily. For a city where water demand exceeds 1080 MGD, the leakage loss is huge.
Previously too, DJB had tried various ways to get illegal water connections “into the billing net.” Taking a leaf out of the Electricity Act, 2003, the agency announced in 2016 that it will allow a water connection to anybody who can show a valid residential proof, even if it is in a slum cluster