Delhi govt hikes water, sanitation funds by 70%
The Delhi government on Monday increased the 2020-21 budget for water supply and sanitation by around 70%, allocating more funds for unauthorised colonies and wastewater treatment plants.
Presenting the budget in the Delhi Assembly, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said four decentralised water treatment plants, each with a capacity of about four million gallons per day (MGD), will also be installed on the banks of Yamuna.
At present, the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) supplies around 950 MGD of water against the city's demand of 1,150 MGD.
The government has set aside Rs 3,724 crore (S$ 708.1 million) for implementation of DJB's plans and projects in 2020-21 and Rs 467 crore (S$ 88.8 million) for the "lifeline water subsidy scheme" for providing 20,000 litres water free to six lakh beneficiaries every month, Mr Sisodia said.
Free 20,000 litres of water and power up to 200 units were among the major achievements of the Aam Aadmi Party government which catapulted the AAP to power in Delhi for a third time on the trot in February.
"A sum of Rs 110 crore (S$20 million) has been allocated for "Mukhyamantri Muft Sewer Connection Yojna". The total allocation for water supply and sanitation in 2020-21 is about 70% higher than the revised estimates for 2019-20. The reason for this is that more funds have been allocated for unauthorised colonies and sewer treatment plants," he said. Mr Sisodia said the government will continue to provide 20,000 litres of water free to every household in Delhi and is taking steps to provide round-the-clock supply to the entire national capital by 2024.
"The Delhi Jal Board has initiated a plan to install rain water harvesting (systems) in 439 out of its 771 installations. The target is to set up rain water harvesting in 155 other installations this year," he said.
"Around 1,605 unauthorised colonies have been connected to piped water supply system. Out of this, water supply has already been started in 1,549 colonies and a notification will be issued soon for the remaining 56 colonies. Work is going on in 40 colonies," Mr Sisodia said.
There are 1,797 unauthorised colonies in the national capital.
In December last year, parliament passed a bill to grant ownership rights to residents living in unauthorised colonies, paving the way for the government to provide basic civic services such as roads, drains, water supply, sewers and street lights in such areas.
The DJB is also implementing "Master Plan-2031" in a phased manner for sewer expansion in areas without sewer lines, Mr Sisodia said.
"Sewer lines have been laid in 434 unauthorised colonies. The work is in progress in 597 colonies and is targeted to be completed by December 2020," he said.