NEW DELHI: Water supply network will not be privatised in Delhi after the experience in power sector, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said.
He announced implementation of rain water harvesting techniques on a large scale by next year to deal with the city's water crisis, apart from starting of recycling facilities in several areas.
Seeking support of private companies, Kejriwal said the government is ready to use technology on large scale but ownership of water network and distribution will remain with the government.
"It is responsibility of the government to ensure clean drinking water to its citizen and we will not give this responsibility to any private company. If a government cannot supply water to the people of the city then there is no use of being in power.
"But this does not mean that we are ignoring private players. We want large scale participation from private companies in water sector but ownership and distribution channel will remain with the government," Kejriwal said while inaugurating Aquatech India trade exhibition for drinking and waste water management at Pragati Maidan.
Criticising the privatization of power sector in Delhi, Kejriwal said it has many loopholes.
"This model rewards for inefficiency of power companies. There is no benefit for spending less then why will someone cut down their expenses. Companies keep spending more to earn more and we are paying higher tariff. So water sector will never be privatised," he said.
The Chief Minister highlighted that Delhi lacked a major source of water and government is working on water recycling and sewerage treatment.
"Water is life and it is also being said if there will be third world war then it will be on the issue of water. So we have to ensure efficient use of water and its recycling.
People of Delhi can very well understand water crisis as we don't have a source of water.
"We borrow it from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Population of Delhi is increasing and so of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh so after a time, even they will refuse to supply us water. Then where will Delhi go, so we have to look for a way.
"We have to do recycling at a very large scale, at present we are doing it but at a smaller level. Even sewerage treatment capacity is under-utilised as we are yet to lay sewerage pipeline," Kejriwal said.
AAP Government has started various water related pilots projects and is waiting for their result for further implementation across the city, he said.
"To recycle water, Delhi government has started six pilot projects and we will get results in another five-six months.
After scanning the result, they will be implemented in other parts of the city.
"Recently, I inaugurated a small plant for treatment of sewage into drinking water and even I drank it. On one hand we have to set up big sewage treatment plant, on the other we have to make recycling plants in small cluster of 100-500 houses," Kejriwal said.
Emphasising the need of rain water harvesting, he said, "It is raining today and several crore litres of fresh drinking water gets wasted. If we can save this water through rain water harvesting it can solve the problem.
"At present rain water harvesting is done on voluntary basis but we will implement it properly. I am sure by next year monsoon we will be ready to do rain water harvesting at the large scale."
Kejriwal also requested private companies to provide cheaper technology to the end customer.
"Technology plays an important role in water recycling and private sector plays an important role. At times profit of technology is so high that it becomes costly for the customer to get safe drinking water.
"I request you to transfer benefits of technology to the customers," Kejriwal said while addressing representatives of private companies attending the exhibition.