Arvind Kejriwal is the chairman of the DJB. (Photo Credit: PTI)
The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has waived the infrastructure and development charges for new water and sewer connections in the national capital. The announcement was made Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is also the chairman of the DJB. Kejriwal said people will now have to pay just Rs 2,310 to get new water and sewer connections. The move comes ahead of the assembly election in Delhi which are due early next year. The decision was taken at a board meeting of the DJB, chaired by Kejriwal.
Earlier, a person having a plot of 200 square metres would have to pay nearly Rs 1.14 lakh to get new water and sewer connections. For a 300-square-metre plot, an applicant would have to pay nearly Rs 1.24 lakh.
According to Kejriwal, the decision was taken after it was observed residents were not getting ‘formal connection’ despite having water pipeline in a particular area, due to the high development and infrastructure charges. They were using piped water illegally, Kejriwal said.
“The board (DJB) today decided that it will not charge development and infrastructure fees from Delhiites,” the chief minister said, adding, “The government will, however, continue to spend funds on infrastructure like laying water pipelines, setting up water treatment plants.”
Kejriwal said the Delhi government hoped that move would encourage people to get new water and sewer connections in large numbers, and “unaccounted water” will come under the network of the Delhi Jal Board.
According to the DJB, until now, the rate of water development charge was Rs 440 per square meter and sewer development charge was Rs 494 per square metre.
On June 25, 2016 the government had reduced development charges to Rs 100 per square metre plot for water and sewer each in the case of properties falling in D,E,F,G and H category of unauthorized colonies, being used for residential purposes, with a plot area up to 200 square metre plot. In a statement issued by DJB later, it stated it had abolished levy of development charges for water and sewer for all consumers.
However, infrastructure charges (IFC) on water and sewer will continue to be levied on government developing agencies such as DDA, MCD, PWD, DSIIDC and government public undertakings. The government said that water pipelines were replaced in 1,047 square km-area since 2014.
With PTI Inputs