Delhi Jal Board Vice Chairman Raghav Chadha today convened a high-level meeting comprising Member (Water) and senior officers of DJB, and reviewed the preparation of the 2021 Summer Action Plan to ensure Delhiites don’t face any water woes this summer. The Plan will be presented before the people of Delhi early next month.
Shri Chadha said, “The Summer Action Plan is a well-thought out plan of action that allows Delhi Jal Board to optimise available resources and inform and educate consumers on what’s in store for them. In keeping with the Arvind Kejriwal government’s pro-welfare measures for Delhi, DJB is working on a comprehensive Plan to ensure residents of the city don’t have to face any water-related issues. I’m hopeful our collective efforts will help provide Delhi residents an optimum supply of water.”
He also said, “A meticulous plan is underway to address vulnerable areas in Delhi, reduce unaccounted water consumption, come up with a solid strategy for water augmentation, cater to dry areas, augment the existing piped water network, and a lot more, to ensure nobody faces any water shortages in the upcoming summer.”
The Vice Chairman further said, “We have to prepare for every possible contingency with respect to water. Every summer, demand for water naturally increases and DJB is on its way to meeting such demand. Delhi Jal Board will be optimising all available resources in order to augment water supply and production and to ensure Delhi residents don’t face any sort of water crisis this year.
Steps taken by Delhi Jal Board
In order to meet the rise in the water demand, all maintenance divisions of Delhi Jal Board have prepared detailed action plans. DJB has also completed the area specific works on interconnections of pipelines, removal of dead ends, flushing of water mains, replacement of old pipelines. Shri Chadha said, “Delhi Jal Board has identified few vulnerable areas across Delhi and will work towards ensuring that nobody faces any water crisis in the coming summer months.”
Delhi Jal Board has also begun work on improving the efficacy of its water tanker services by optimizing the tanker filling capacity at each filling point location. A comprehensive scheme is being worked out for deployment of water tankers at specified supply points. DJB is also going all out towards targeted sewage treatment.
Shri Chadha said, “Plans are underway to install additional tubewells in various locations across Delhi. Further, more colonies will get piped water supply.”
The Vice Chairman said, “In addition to steps already underway, we’re working to ensure that all DJB water filling stations function properly with zero water wastage. It is from these filling stations that water tankers are filled, which then make their journey towards places where water is required. Therefore, it follows that starting point itself has to be problem-free.”
He also said, “I know how hard DJB’s engineers at different plants and laboratories have been working even with the financial strain we find ourselves in, but summer and the following increase in demand is a reality we cannot turn away from. Therefore, we have to find innovative ways to augment Delhi’s current per day water supply. This will require revolutionary steps at our end to recharge Delhi’s ground water levels as well as for water conservation.”
Assigning accountability for transparency
DJB maintains sufficient water emergency control rooms situated at strategic locations to cover all parts of the city. These control rooms work round-the-clock. The Board has also nominated Nodal officers for these control rooms for effective supervision and monitoring of the water emergencies in order to efficiently address the public complaints.
The Enforcement Department of DJB shall also carry out regular surprise checks, both at the control rooms and the consumer end, in order to verify the timely redressal of complaints.
DJB has also reviewed the stock position of consumables such as disinfectants, coagulants, spare pumps and motors for all the plants and pumping stations. Adequate availability of stocks of these critical items has been ensured for quality and efficient supply of water during the summer season.
Turning a Crisis into an Opportunity
As per a study by the National Geophysical Research Institute, a constituent research laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Delhi’s ground water levels are depleting at an alarming rate of 10 centimetres per year. Delhi’s burgeoning population, which is estimated to reach 25.88 million by 2025, will increase water requirements to 1,140 MGD. Another report by NITI Aayog has stated that 21 cities in India may face severe water scarcity, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
Shri Chadha said, “Despite investing heavily in rain water harvesting in the last two decades, Chennai faced a severe water crisis after a deficient northeast monsoon. We cannot afford to take any chances, given the importance and necessity of water for all, and how the demand for water is only going to increase as the days go by.”
He also said, “A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned. After a meticulous audit, water losses have been identified and appropriate measures are underway, which will help augment our water production capacity.”
Checks and Balances
In order to ensure adequate surveillance of quality of water being supplied to the residents of Delhi, Delhi Jal Board is working on the upgradation of its water testing laboratories.
Time and again, DJB has encouraged water conservation, public notices have also been issued from time to time by Delhi Jal Board offering utilization of Treated Effluent (Grey Water) for non-potable purposes i.e. irrigation, horticulture, cooling plants, construction industries, flushing and washing etc. Treated effluents can be taken by laying pipeline and making pumping arrangements from the plants to intended locations by the agencies/ individuals at their own cost.
Cooperation from citizens
Talking abut the importance of building a conducive environment for all consumers, Shri Chadha said, “While DJB continuously strives to optimize all its resources to maintain a steady production of water to meet the water needs of the city, at the same time, we humbly appeal to the citizens of Delhi to use water judiciously and to adopt efficient methods of water conservation.”
Shri Chadha was firm about the need for a sustainable and feasible water system for all residents of Delhi despite the demands of summer. He said, “It is important that for the welfare of Delhi, we work on optimising available water resources. As envisioned by Hon’ble CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal, we’re taking all possible steps at Delhi Jal Board to achieve our targeted water production.”