Water distribution system to be modernised:Dikshit



New Delhi: Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today made clear her government's strong resolve to go ahead with reforms in the water distribution system in Delhi on the lines of privatisation of the power sector.

Dikshit, speaking at an interaction with captains of industry, said the water distribution network in the city is in a "bad shape" and the government was determined to modernise it by involving private entities.

"We have enough water. Water availability here is not very bad. But the problem is that we have a very bad distribution system," she said.

The interaction, organised by CII, was attended by more than 75 industry leaders including Wipro chairman Azim Premji, chairman of Godrej group Adi Godrej, ICICI Bank chairman K V Kamath and Fortis Healthcare Executive Chairman Malvinder Mohan Singh.

Modernisation of the water distribution system in Delhi may lead to increase in rates. CII, which has entered into an agreement with the city government to help it address major challenges, has been asking for reforms in the water sector.

The Chief Minister has been pushing for initiating "reforms" in the water sector, arguing that private entities must be involved to improve water distribution and that people must be made to "pay for every drop" of water they use so that they know the value of the resource

The current average demand of potable water in the city is around 1,100 mgd (million gallons per day) and currently around 850 mgd water is available with Delhi Jal Board for distribution out of which 30 per cent water is lost through leaks and other unaccountable means.

After years of dilly dallying, the Delhi Government earlier this month had finally approved a pilot project to involve private entities in distribution of water in command areas of Malviya Nagar, Vasant Vihar and Nangloi underground reservoirs and water treatment plants.

Officials said the government may now go for involving the private sector in water distribution in more areas.

The Planning Commission has given a thumbs up to the Delhi Government's move to reform the water supply network on the lines of power sector.

The government said the private entities would rationalise the water distribution network and ensure supply of water to the consumers round-the-clock.

Officials said the reforms in water sector have been initiated in consultation with the Planning Commission which had identified water sector reforms as a priority area for the city.

They said the Commission had asked the city government to reduce supply of non-revenue water and asked it to promote rain water harvesting and ensuring regulated exploration of ground water resources.

PTI