Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena has written to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, flagging the "miserable hygiene and sanitary conditions" at the Wazirabad Water Treatment Plant which supplies drinking water to large parts of the national capital. In a three-page letter, Saxena also spoke about Delhi Jal Board's "gross inaction" in cleaning and desilting the pond reservoir behind the Wazirabad barrage which supplies water to Wazirabad and Chandrawal Water Treatment Plants.
"It is with a sense of deep distress that I seek your urgent intervention into the state of affairs prevalent at the Wazirabad Water Treatment Plant (WTP) and the feeder pond area at Wazirabad Barrage, that feeds the Wazirabad WTP and the Chandrawal WTP," the letter read. During his visit to the area on March 9, Saxena said that he witnessed "grave dereliction and criminal neglect" of the WTP and the pond area which is resulting in a "totally avoidable water shortage".
The plant itself is marred by rusted and trash-ridden reservoirs, corroded pipelines, silt-covered equipment and power-guzzling water pumps, the letter alleged. "Despite a desilting contract being in place since 2013, no de-siltation took place resulting in the depth of the pond reducing from 4.26 metres to a mere 0.42 metres during the last eight years.
"The pond had the capacity to hold 250 million gallons of water, but it has now reduced by 93 per cent due to siltation and can now hold only 16 million gallons," the L-G claimed in the letter. "Frequent water shortage in the city, including the one before Holi, on account of Wazirabad and Chandrawal water treatment plants not being fully operational is solely due to this reason and not due to the Haryana Excuses that AAP makes to fool the people," the letter said.
Saxena, in his letter to Kejriwal, advised immediate desilting and cleaning of the pond area and upgradation of the water treatment plant. "It would also be essential that strict action is initiated against officials responsible for this gross dereliction of duty and criminal misconduct," the letter read. "It is also recommended that visits aimed at supervision and monitoring be undertaken on a regular basis by authorities to identify shortcomings and rectify the same in a concurrent manner," it added.