Saturday, May 30, 2015

Living in National Capital Part 3: Delhi sees water crisis, Government fails to deliver

Every year summer brings the most difficult times for people in Delhi, especially those living in the slums and various villages of Delhi. Scarcity of water has been a political issue for a long time in Delhi. Kejriwal came to power with the promise of ensuring 700 liters of free water everyday for a family in Delhi. But it seems the government has failed to deliver on its promises.

Two days back hundreds of people from Sangam Vihar area in South Delhi protested outside the Delhi Jal Board office in Greater Kailash. Many women joined the protests. Because of the protest, there was almost a kilometer long jam on BRT road. BJP councilor from Sangam Vihar area Kalpana Jha also joined in to protest against Delhi Jal Board and Delhi government. BRT is one of the most important roads in Delhi, and a jam on it can disrupt life in city to a great extent.

In another instance, there have been reports of fights in several areas of Delhi for water. One such instance took place in DDA flats of Malviya Nagar, a middle class settlement in the city. People in the area have not received their water connection for the past one month due to failure of tube well in the locality. When the people went to meet the local MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj of Aam Admi Party, there erupted a fight between supporters of Bharadwaj and the protesters. People of the RWA have registered a FIR in the Malviya Nagar police station as well, accusing Bharadwaj of misbehaving with the women who went to protest and demanding proper action.

Water crisis in not new to Delhi. Political parties have been making it a big issue and winning elections promising to supply water to each and every corner of the city. The entire politics of AAP and Kejriwal had grown out on issues relating to water and electricity in Delhi. The erstwhile Congress government failed the people miserably. AAP took advantage of the situation and came to power. But there is hardly any difference in the lives of the people. Summers have shown true colour of politics, and people are protesting everywhere to make sure they get their share of water.

There is a huge discrimination in water supply in Delhi. The urban settlement of the city gets uninterrupted water supply, whereas people in the slums and suburbs struggle to get water. Kejriwal promised that every family- including those living in slums- will get water. But people in the slum are still to see this becoming reality. The temperature has already gone up in the city. Monsoon is still distant. With temperature rising up to 45 degree Celsius, many cases of heatstroke have been reported in the hospitals. The situation in Andhra Pradesh and Telengana is an alarm for all of us. More than 1,100 people have died due to heat waves. This is a genocide, and governments have not given it the proper attention.

It is the true test of the leader. Kejriwal needs to answer the problems in the most efficient manner, before the issue becomes unmanageable.

This article was first published on LokMarg on May 30, 2015

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