100 Delhi Jal Board water tankers missing, says Congress

DPCC president Devender Yadav said that while people struggled to get water amid the heatwave, 100 of 250 of DJB’s water tankers were missing from the agency’s roster.
Residents of Sanjay Colony fetching water from DJB tanker on Tuesday
Residents of Sanjay Colony fetching water from DJB tanker on Tuesday Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS

NEW DELHI: Delhi Congress on Tuesday claimed that around 100 water tankers have gone missing from the Delhi Jal Board roster and demanded a departmental inquiry.

Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) president Devender Yadav said that while people struggled to get water amid the heatwave, 100 of 250 of DJB’s water tankers were missing from the agency’s roster.

“The missing tankers was yet another instance of widespread corruption in the DJB, which was running in profit when Congress was in power in Delhi but went in the red as soon as the Aam Aadmi Party came to power,” he said.

The national capital has been reeling from a severe water shortage for weeks, with little to no supply amid searing heatwave conditions. The city’s AAP government has accused Haryana of not releasing its share of water.

“Given the rising corruption in the DJB, the Vigilance Department had asked for the record of the past five years of the number of tankers hired by the DJB, each tanker supplied how much water, and the amount paid to the tanker owners as rent,” Yadav said.

Over the ongoing water crisis, Yadav asked why the DJB didn’t increase the number of tankers to tackle the situation and underscored that when AAP came to power 10 years ago, it promised free power and water to the residents of Delhi.

Yadav claimed that the DJB had 407 tankers on contract, 541 on rent and 250 belonging to the department in 2022 to service 10,141 water shortage points of Delhi.

The Delhi government wakes up to the water scarcity at the last moment as the DJB does not formulate any summer action plan in advance to address the shortage. When the water scarcity gets out of control, AAP and the BJP indulge in blame games and accuse each other of complicity and laxity in tackling the shortage, he alleged.

Yadav said the Delhi government should have written to the Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh governments for the release of sufficient water to meet the city’s peak summer demand.

He said the water leakage is taking place, but neither the DJB nor Delhi Police have failed to prevent it or find the accused.

“According to ground reports, significant leakage of treated water occurs under the very nose of the DJB officials and Delhi Police, yet no action has been taken to punish the guilty,” Yadav said.

The Congress president said he had also written to L-G VK Saxena to probe leakage and pilferage in the water agency’s pipeline.

Yadav said he had complained to the Central Vigilance Commissioner about a massive loss of Rs 17,575 crore to the DJB due to water leakage between 2015-16 and 2022-23 and demanded a probe into the “nexus between corrupt officials and leaders”.

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