New Delhi :
In a major relief to Delhiites, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a waiver of water bills pending till November last year as his government completed one year in office today.
The total value of the pending bills to be waived across categories is Rs 2,854.80 crore. The government also decided to waive the payment of late fee and that will cost it another Rs 923.27 crore.
Giving an account of the works undertaken over the last 12 months by the Delhi government, Kejriwal said they have not let a single penny of taxpayers’ money go to “waste”.
“When we analysed water bills, we found these in a disarray as most water bills were prepared on an average basis without reading meters.
“It will be impossible to sit to correct these bills. In view of this, pending water bills till November 30 will be waived. The exemptions will be based on property tax category areas,” Kejriwal told the gathering to mark one year of the AAP government.
He said that people living in A and B category areas will be given exemption of up to 25 per cent on their water bills while C category will receive 50 per cent exemption.
“The D category area will be exempted 75 per cent and E,F,G and H category areas will be completely exempted from paying pending bills. Late Payment Surcharge (LPS) will be totally waived in all categories,” he said.
The Chief Minister said most people were facing trouble in getting correct bills and added that the recovery of water dues was almost ‘zero’.
He said the waiver will be only for those consumers who have a functional water meter.
Kejriwal and his entire Cabinet today took questions from Delhiites in a phone-in programme at NDMC Convention Centre to mark the completion of the AAP government’s one year in year.
Water Minister Kapil Mishra said there are around 19.5 lakh registered water consumers and 75 per cent of them will benefit due to the scheme.
“People whose water meter number is registered with Delhi Jal Board will be exempted. Consumers who have a meter, but one that is not registered with DJB, will have to do the same to avail the scheme,” he said.
The minister said he hopes that with this scheme, the phenomenon of “fake water bills” is checked.
After coming to power, the AAP government had announced halving of power tariffs for families consuming up to 400 units a month and free-water supply of 20,000 litres (20 kilolitres) to every household.
Kejriwal said that by the end of December 2017, every household will be connected to a piped water network with the government having prepared a draft plan in this regard.
“With the laying of water pipes in every area by 2017, there will be no need for water tanks. Except 45-50 colonies on government land, all localities will receive water through a pipeline,” he said.
On February 14, 2015, Kejriwal had taken oath as the Chief Minister after AAP won 67 seats in the 70-member Delhi Assembly.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today announced re-implementation of the Delhi government’s scheme of 80 per cent reduction in one time sewer and water development charges for new connections.
Addressing a gathering on the first anniversary of the Aam Aadmi Party government, Kejriwal said the scheme will continue till July 30.
During the first phase of implementation of this scheme, from June 26 to September 25, last year, Delhi Jal Board (DJB) had registered 1.5 lakh new water connections, he said.
As per the scheme, development charges in unauthorised colonies were reduced by 80 per cent to enable people in these areas to take regular water and sewer connections.
The reduction has been drastic and historic with water development charges reduced from Rs 440 to Rs 100 per square metre, while the sewer development charges have been brought down from Rs 494 to Rs 100 per sqm.
“The government has decided to re-introduce the scheme which will be effective till July 30. I request people to take new water connection,” Kejriwal said.
He, however, said that water will not be supplied through tankers in areas without pipeline.
The revised rates are applicable in case of properties falling in D, E, F, G and H category of unauthorised colonies, being used for residential purposes with plot area up to and including 200 sqm under domestic and mixed use category.
DJB has also reduced the regularisation charges for illegal connections in other residential areas from Rs 18,000 to Rs 3,300.
Terming the completion of one year of the Delhi government as “Black Day”, state BJP today staged a protest against the AAP dispensation saying Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has failed to deliver on his poll promises.
The protest was held about 50 meters away from the NDMC Convention Centre, the venue where the Kejriwal government was celebrating its one year in office.
Holding placards—“Har Roz Naya Bawal, Ek Saal Kejriwal”
the party activists also shouted slogans against the AAP government.
BJP leaders including Satish Upadhayay, R P Singh, Tarun Chugh, Udit Raj and Maheish Girri, also released black balloons as a mark of protest.
Addressing the gathering, Chugh, said the AAP government has not fulfilled even a single poll promises it made to the people of Delhi.
Listing the failures of Kejriwal government, he said the party had assured it would install CCTV cameras across the city but nothing has happened.
Even the promise made to women about deployment of marshals has not been fulfilled, he added.
Referring to the raging JNU row, he said this is not a political issue but related to the nation, and Kejriwal should shun playing politics on it.
“You (Kejriwal) should be ashamed for terming the death sentence given to Afzal Guru as ‘killing’. Not only that, you are calling JNUSU President and his supporters, who shouted slogans against India on JNU premises, ‘innocent’,” he said.
Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta alleged people were being deprived of development.
Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhayay criticised the AAP government of “wasting public money” on advertisements extolling its won achievements.
The Delhi government has given in-principle approval for construction of Metro Phase-IV.
The decision was taken recently at a meeting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had with transport, PWD and Urban Development Departments.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has set 2021 as deadline for the phase-IV expansion, which would add 75 stations to the metro network. A total of 31.47 kilometres of new lines will be underground while 64.39 km will be elevated.
“In the recently-held meeting, government has given in-principle approval for the construction of Metro Phase-IV,” a senior government official said.
The official said the Delhi government has written to DMRC, saying that it will go for the revenue sharing model adopted in the previous phases.
“Once the Detailed Project Report (DPR) and financial proposal are received from DMRC, the matter will taken to the Delhi Cabinet for final approval so that the project can be completed at the earliest,” the official said.
Among the projects chosen under Phase-IV are Rithala Narela (21.73km), Janakpuri West RK Ashram (28.92km), Mukundpur Maujpur (12.54km), Inderlok Indraprastha (12.58km), Tughlakabad Aerocity (20.20 km), and Lajpat Nagar Saket G-Block (7.96 km).