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There is water problem in Delhi, says Sheila

Special Correspondent

‘Private players may be roped in for distribution'

NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Friday said her government was thinking of bringing private people into the distribution of water and would make a presentation before the MLAs to seek their approval and suggestions.

Speaking during Question Hour in the Delhi Assembly, Ms. Dikshit said “there is indeed a water problem in Delhi. New colonies come up and laying of pipes take time''.

Stating that a plan is being made to check leakages, replace old pipes and promote underground reservoirs for augmenting the storage capacity, Ms. Dikshit said while this is a continuous process, plans are also being drawn for increasing the availability of water. “As against a demand of about 950 million gallons per day of water, we have a shortfall of about 100 MGD. We are to get 80 MGD through Munak canal from Haryana,'' she said, adding that for the resolution of the dispute the Prime Minister has constituted a Group of Ministers under Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and it would discuss the issue. ``It is our right to get this 80 MGD supply and this water will solve the problem of Outer and South Delhi,'' she said.

Privatisation

Ms. Dikshit said the Government was working expeditiously on the water front as it had done with power reforms. When quizzed by BJP members if she was hinting at privatisation, the Chief Minister said: “Like we brought a revolutionary improvement in power supply so in the case of water we are thinking of having private people in the water distribution”.When Subhash Sachdeva of the BJP raised the issue of high ammonia levels in the Yamuna waters and its contamination because of industrial outflow in Haryana, the Chief Minister said: “I can assure you that we will keep a check on the ammonia levels. As soon as a problem is detected, we stop the supply. We have taken up the matter with the Environment Ministry, Ministry of Water Resources and the Central Pollution Control Board''.

Admitting that the frequency of water treatment plant shutdowns was increasing due to high ammonia levels, she said: “We are also concerned because there is a water shortage when plants shut down. We have told the Centre and Chief Minister of Haryana about it.''

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