Water shortage in Delhi
Around 130 unauthorised colonies in the national capital are not likely to get piped water supply anytime soon as work is stuck due to non-availability of no-objection certificates (NOCs) from land-owning agencies, according to the Delhi Jal Board. DJB vice-chairman Dinesh Mohaniya said NOCs are not available for laying water pipelines in some unauthorised colonies, while it's not feasible to undertake work in the rest.
"Land-owning agencies give NOCs for laying water pipelines in any area. In these cases, they haven't. For example, Archeological Survey of India may not give an NOC for laying water pipelines if an authorised colony comes up on its land," he said.
"Some unauthorised colonies have come up in such a haphazard manner that the first house is 10 feet away from the second and the second is 20 feet away from the third. Because of this, it's not possible to lay water pipelines in such areas," he said.
In the absence of piped water supply, residents of unauthorised colonies mostly rely on DJB and private tankers, and illegal borewells. Officials said NOCs for most of the colonies are awaited from the forest department.
According to an audit report of the AAP government's work done in 2018-19, NOCs are not available for 95 unauthorised colonies and work is not feasible in 36 others. There are a total of 1,725 unauthorised colonies in Delhi. People living there are believed to be the core vote bank of the Aam Aadmi Party. As many as 1,230 unauthorised colonies got water pipelines by the end of 2017-18.
The DJB had set a target of laying water pipelines in another 291 unauthorised colonies in 2018-19. It, however, could complete the work in only 144 such localities. Ahead of the assembly elections early next year, the AAP dispensation has set a target of laying water pipelines in 151 unauthorised colonies. The Kejriwal government claims it gave piped water to 372 unauthorised colonies in last four years.