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Delhi Jal Board sees over Rs 100 crore revenue boost

New Delhi : The Delhi Jal Board has presented its two-year report card, which spells out efforts to improve water and sewerage infrastructure.

The water utility claimed that despite giving out 20,000 litre water free of charge and having no hike in water tariff, it was able to post an increase of over Rs 100 crore in revenue during 2015-16.

In fact, Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that even since it came to power two years ago, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Government has made DJB more efficient and reduced the influence of politics in the water utility.

Sisodia, speaking at the release of the DJB’s two-year report card, said the water utility was no longer embroiled in politics but focused on expanding its piped network.

“The DJB was being used politically. Both parties (Congress and BJP) were operating tankers and depriving people of piped water supply to benefit the mafia. Even in colonies where pipelines had been laid, these groups were not allowing the DJB to supply water,” he added.

The Deputy CM said the water tanker mafia has been targeted and DJB has added 250 of its own tankers to supply water to unconnected areas.

“There may be financial constraints or limits of the engineering staff, but political issues are no longer hindering work,” he added.

DJB Chairperson Kapil Mishra said despite providing up to 20,000 litre water to each household for free, DJB saw revenue rise by Rs 101 crore in 2015-16. This was despite no revision in water tariff in the past two years, he added.

"The scheme has benefited 12.56 lakh consumers, including residents of co-operative group housing societies. This was done by curbing corruption and providing relief to consumers over payment of late bills. People started paying their bills while more consumers took connections. Others got their unauthorised connections legalised as water and sewer charges were reduced drastically," said Mishra.

A water policy has also been prepared and placed before the Board.

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The successes in Greece and Indonesia demonstrate civil society wants to keep water in public hands. And yet the World Bank continues its dogmatic promotion of privatization.

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