After HT exposed water
mismanagement at the hands of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) staff, the board is
receiving brickbats from all quarters. Â The chief minister has asked the
DJB CEO to be more vigilant. Experts too have condemned the board for wasting
Pankaj Mehta, who teaches Environmental Science at Amity University, said
"The leakages at pumping stations need to be plugged at the source. The
DJB should also harvest every single drop so wasted to recharge the ground
losses have already been pegged to be between 30-50%. At a seminar last month,
the chief minister too admitted that 42% water is lost during distribution.
HT's 'Raid the Office' series points out that the losses could be more.
that is why the Centre for Science and Environment's (CSE) latest report
'Excreta Matters' says the agency is one of the country's worst performing
entities in terms of coverage and water losses.
report pegs DJB's water losses at a whopping 52% - more than half the available
water is wasted. Its officials add slum consumption in this loss.
our survey showed that slums consume hardly 10% of the water," said Nitya
Jacob, CSE's Director (Water).
its visits to three pumping stations in south Delhi, HT had found that lakhs of
gallons of water were being wasted away. Large taps used to fill tankers were
never shut off.
tankers too were old and wasted water during transit and at the consumer end.
Not to mention, the old and rusty pipelines - a perennial source of wastage.
Agrawal of NGO Toxic Links lambasted the DJB's 'distribution' problem. "It
is not 'shortage of water' that Delhi is facing, but more of a 'distribution'
problem," he said. DJB needs more efficiency and transparency at its
pumping stations, Agrawal added.Â Â
too criticised the jal board for its apathy. "The amount of water that
gets leaked from tankers and pumping stations till the delivery point can meet
a day's demand for an average-size locality. Why can't they buy new
tankers?" wondered R Shreeram, a resident of C-block Vasant Kunj.Â
Case Study Relying on
tankers for 10 yrs
The Maliks of B-block, Vasant Kunj, have been
relying on water from DJB tankers for over a decade now.
This part of the dry south Delhi locality
hardly gets any running tap water and residents have to get their tanks filled
from water tankers.
"We get very little tap water. So to
meet our demand, we have to call DJB tankers," said Reena Malik, a
resident of B-Block Vasant Kunj.
The situation is the same for other parts of
Vasant Kunj. "Nothing changes even after media highlights a problem.
The Delhi government has failed at all
fronts," said retired wing commander Mathur, a resident of Vasant Kunj.
Hardly a kilometre away from this locality,
the DJB pumping station is brimming with water.
Here, children take showers, tankers get washed
and gallons go down the drain, literally, due to the sheer carelessness of DJB