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(A lifeline for every citizen)

Free lifeline water – the ‘paani maaf’ promise

Free water to domestic consumers

  • The AAP Delhi Government was sworn in for its first term on 28th Dec 2013. The very first decision taken by the new government was to deliver on its promise of free water (‘paani maaf’). On 30th Dec 2013, the AAP Delhi Govt announced that lifeline water of 20,000 litres per month would be provided free to every household in Delhi that utilised less than this quantity. 

“It is duty of any responsible govt to provide “lifeline water” to its citizens. We may debate the quantum but can we argue against the principle?” – Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Chief Minister, tweeted on 30th Dec 2013

  • Water subsidy given per month (avg.)
    • Rs 39.68 Cr in the financial year 2019-20 to 6.12 lakh consumers
    • Rs 44.05 Cr. (Apr-Dec 2020) to 6.58 lakh consumers

(Source: Outcome Budget 2020-21, Planning Department, Government of NCT, Delhi – Pg. 110)

  • Average number of beneficiaries availing water subsidy per month (in lakh) 
    • 6.12 lakh people in the year 2019-20
    • 6.58 (Apr-Dec) in the year 2020-21. 

(Source: Outcome Budget 2020-21, Planning Department, Government of NCT, Delhi – Pg. 110)

  • The Delhi government proposed a budget of ₹3,274 crore for the schemes, programmes and projects in the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) for FY 2021-22. Of this, 600 crore is for 20 kilolitres free water subsidy scheme, which benefits about 6 lakh households every month.

Free Water Scheme Extended to Residential Colonies

From 29th Dec 2021,  the AAP government’s flagship scheme of free water up to 20,000 litres per month will be extended to the residents of BK Dutt Colony, East Kidwai Nagar and New Moti Bagh. 

Some residential complexes in the NDMC area have been facing problems in availing the benefit of the free water scheme. As they function on bulk water supply, the residents do not have any end-user point water meters.

The connection charge of Rs. 7500 will also be waived. This will ensure that more consumers are brought under the free water scheme.

Water Vending Machines

The AAP Delhi government plans to set up 1000 RO water ATMs in slums to provide 24X7 supply to the residents. These water ATMs will be installed on the existing tube wells at government facilities. The work is slated to be completed by December 2022. 

Water ATMs are a more efficient way of dispensing water compared to water tankers. While tankers can only fetch 15 kilolitres of water per day, each ATM can generate 1 lakh litres of water. 

The dispensing systems will also be a big step forward in preventing water theft.

A 100 kilolitre dispensing system will be installed for every 500 households or 2,000 people, which means 250 to 200 litres of drinking water per family per day. 

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is also considering providing a card to each household so that every family gets a fixed minimum quantity of water every day.

Increasing Piped Water Network Coverage

The Delhi government aims to provide 24X7 safe clean water to all residents of Delhi.

It has been working towards its target of 100% piped water and sewerage connectivity across the city. The target for extending the water pipeline network to reach all colonies – authorised and unauthorised – is Mar 2022.

“Of the 1,799 unauthorised colonies in Delhi, piped water supply has been released to 1,573; supply is yet to be notified in 60 others, leaving just 166 more colonies to be connected to the network.” – Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi CM, (14th Jan 2021)

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AAP Outreach Team