Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addressing the Assembly on Monday | PTI
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addressing the Assembly on Monday | PTI

‘Execute DJB bill settlement scheme’

Assemply passes resolution against ‘blocking’ of scheme for clearing pending water bills

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Assembly on Monday passed a resolution urging Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena to issue necessary directions to concerned officers for the implementation of the Delhi Jal Board’s (DJB) one-time settlement scheme for unpaid water bills of over 1 million consumers in the national capital.

“There are around 27 lakh water connections, of which around 10.6 lakh customers have pending arrears [outstanding bills]. Most of these consumers have stopped paying these water bills to DJB because they believe that their bills do not reflect their actual consumption of water. Their (customers) successive bills are increasing on account of late payment charges and interest,” the resolution stated.

According to the resolution, the failure to check the water meters during the Covid-19 period is among the reasons for the inflated bills.

Recently, the AAP-led city government decided to bring back its one-time scheme to settle faulty water bills. It aimed to provide relief in water bills to 1 million consumers by generating a new bill with a revised amount based on a median reading of the bills generated over the past few years.

However, the party alleged that the one-time settlement scheme had been “blocked” by the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) of the Urban Development Department.

“Despite written directions by the Urban Development Minister and Finance Minister, the Principal Secretary (UD) and Principal Secretary (Finance) have refused to implement this pro-public scheme...it is shocking that the officers are openly and brazenly refusing to implement written orders of the Ministers, thus creating a grave constitutional crisis.”

Constitutional crisis

Addressing the Assembly, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said a “serious constitutional crisis” has arisen in the national capital as officers are saying they will not work because of alleged “threats and pressure” from the BJP.

“A serious constitutional crisis has arisen (here) as officers have put it in writing that they will not work. If they do this, how will the government run? Can it run for even two days? Does it behove the Centre and the BJP that an elected government has been brought to such a state?” Kejriwal asked.

“And, who all are behind it? The BJP is behind it. The BJP hates the people of Delhi,” he alleged.

The scheme

Recently, the AAP-led city government decided to bring back its one-time scheme to settle faulty water bills. It aimed to provide relief in water bills to 10 lakh consumers by generating a new bill with a revised amount based on a median reading of the bills generated over the past few years. However, AAP had alleged that the one-time settlement scheme had been “blocked” by the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) of the Urban Development Department.

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