Water Minister Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj strongly condemned the Delhi LG’s politically motivated instructions to the Delhi Jal Board, on Monday. The Minister has slammed the LG office for interfering with the functioning of the DJB despite it being out of his jurisdiction.
As per the statement issued by the Water Minister, the LG is well aware of the fact that like various departments of Delhi Government, DJB is grappling with artificial shortage of funds created for some officers. The problem has persisted for many months since officials of the finance department have been asking for voluminous information back and forth. DJB has not even received complete funds allocated by the government for the year 2021-22 due to never ending R&D being done by Principal Secretary finance from September 2022 at the cost of public service.
“This conduct has been brought to the knowledge of Hon’ble LG by Legislative Assembly Committees, senior officials of the department in meetings as well through public forums. It is hard to believe how Principal Secretary Finance is sitting over the budget which is duly approved by Cabinet and Legislative Assembly for welfare schemes of Delhi government,” the statement reads.
The Water Minister has highlighted how the LG is riding on boats with the media to take credit for the work of cleaning Yamuna initiated by the Elected Government but never interested in resolving issues under his jurisdiction, be it law and order, inefficiencies of DDA or Services matters. “Delhi Legislative Assembly has requested LG multiple times to take action against Principal Secretary Finance who is creating roadblocks in the works of Delhi Government. It is hard to believe that one officer could defy instructions from the Elected Government without support from Hon’ble LG who is in-charge of Services,” he said.
Various high level meetings have been done at the level of Minister (Finance), Minister (Water), Principal Secretary Finance, CEO,DJB and other officers of DJB & Finance depts in order to release funds to DJB but the Principal Secretary seems to be hell bent on disrupting services of DJB.
LG office on the one hand is sending regular PRs as if he is running the DJB administration, on the other hand his inaction against erring officials is creating financial crisis inside Delhi Government. It can be interpreted as support of Hon’ble LG to the erring officials, the statement further says.
The DJB has prepared a detailed scheme for in situ treatment of polluted water at Wazirabad Pond which is regularly discharged by Haryana. Similarly, other schemes prepared for Yamuna Cleaning are stuck due to intentional delay by the Finance Secretary in releasing funds to DJB.
Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj said that the LG is trying to distract attention from the issue of Sand Mafia of Haryana and Industrial Waste Dumping through DD-2 and DD-8 in Haryana. On 8th March 2023, evidence was shared to the media houses through a press conference by the Minister that illegal sand mining is rampant in over 32 locations in Haryana and industrial waste is dumped by Haryana into the Yamuna by DD-2 and DD-8. In order to divert the attention, Hon’ble LG visited Wazirabad WTP and scolded officials as if Industrial dumping of waste was done by DJB officials. It seems like these press releases are tricks and gimmicks of Hon’ble LG to distract the attention of the media from the illegal sand mining issue which is still going on as evident from the latest pictures of 5th May 2023.
“Hon’ble LG is working as a BJP representative rather than Administrative Head of Delhi. He has not made any effort with Haryana to release Delhi’s share of water nor has he escalated the issue of sand mining and discharge of Industrial Effluent from Haryana. Sand mining is still on-going in the active river bed,” the statement further says.
Recently, in an affidavit filed by Central Government agency called as National Mission of Clean Ganga (NMCG) in the matter of: OA No. 581 of 2022, NMCG has submitted in court that BJP run Haryana Govt. is carrying out illegal activity of Mining in violation of Central Govt order dated 07.10.2016, namely: the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities Order, 2016
“It seems like respected Hon’ble LG is trying to protect the sand mafia operating under the patronage of BJP Govt of Haryana by putting blame on DJB officers who are working day and night with limited resources to provide the city with clean water. Rather than blaming DJB officials, Hon’ble LG should take action against those who are trying to strangulate functioning of the different departments of Delhi Government. Vidhan Sabha Committees clearly spelled out the role of current Principal Secretary Finance in stalling works of Mohalla Clinics, hospitals, Social Welfare pensions to senior citizens, Yamuna Cleaning etc. LG is misusing the authority of the monitoring committee given by Hon’ble NGT by issuing such letters based on factually incorrect position,” the Water Minister stated.
The LG has no role in drinking water supply as it is a state subject and he is misusing the authority by writing such letters and demotivating officers who are working tirelessly for the department under given constraints.