New Delhi: With Delhi government planning to privatise water supply services, North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Friday came out against the move alleging that it is being done to conceal "incompetence" and demanded that water distribution be handed back to municipal bodies.
It also demanded that Delhi Fire Service and Slum and JJ Department be also re-transferred to the local bodies.
In a letter to Lieutenant Governor Tejinder Khanna, North Delhi Mayor Meera Aggarwal said water supply should be transferred back to the newly created three municipal bodies in the Capital in accordance with the 74th Constitutional Amendment which talks about giving more powers to local bodies.
Opposing any move to privatise water services, she said the civic bodies can ensure proper management. "If privatisation had been the remedy, MCD could have done that itself," she said.
Aggarwal said it was on the assumption that MCD could not manage water supply properly, that it was taken over by Delhi Government in 1998.
"Now, the Delhi government itself feels that water supply should be privatised (and) it means that Delhi Government itself is not able to manage the water distribution system properly. Just to conceal their incompetence, the water distribution system is been privatised," she added.
The Mayor`s letter came against the backdrop of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit saying privatisation is necessary in water distribution sector on the lines of power sector. Senior government officials admitted that this could lead to increase in water tariff.
Aggarwal said if water distribution is privatised, then sewerage system would also go into private hands, as both complement each other.
"Disposal of waste water system is part of the supply of the water and that cannot be separated. The result is that with the privatisation of water supply, sewerage would also go the private parties automatically," Aggarwal said.
The Delhi Government was wrong in taking away the water supply system from the MCD as it was in "total contravention of constitutional provisions" which warranted for devolving more and more powers to the panchayats and municipalities, she claimed.
"The irony is that in 1998, Delhi Jal Board was established through Delhi Water Board Act, vide which Water Distribution system and the sewerage system had been taken away from the MCD. Delhi Fire Service had already been taken away much before. In 2010, Slum and JJ Department was also taken away from the MCD," she said.