DELHI: The federation of Dwarka's group housing societies announced on Sunday that not only will they not vote in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, but they will also stop paying property taxes. At a dharna organized to protest the massive shortage of water in the area, residents also said they would field their own candidate for the next assembly elections.
Close to 200 residents gathered for the protest. Though their application for the dharna was turned down by police on Saturday, residents were allowed to stand in a service lane. Some banners and chairs were, however, confiscated.
"Whatever little water is meant for us is also being siphoned off. Unauthorized colonies are tapping into our lines. Tanker operators are stealing our water and DDA is also occasionally diverting some of it to the airport. At present, for close to seven lakh residents, DDA is officially supplying just about five million gallons per day. Much of this is groundwater, the quality of which is extremely poor. The private tankers were recently seized," said a resident.
DDA, which built the Dwarka sub-city, supplies water to the area at a higher rate than the rest of the city. However, Dwarka has never had sufficient water and Delhi Jal Board has washed its hands off the matter claiming they never approved of the project for this very reason. DDA, on the other hand, claims DJB was aware of its plans.
Meanwhile, DJB has constructed a 20 MGD water treatment plant in Dwarka which is lying unused for the past few years. The water needed to operate this plant has to come from Haryana but a dispute between them and Delhi and ensured there is no water. "Delhi paid Haryana several hundred crores to construct the Munak canal. With the canal, around 80 MGD of water lost through leakages and evaporation would have been saved. Delhi wants to use this water for three WTPs, including the one at Dwarka. Haryana, however, says it will not give Delhi this additional water. Despite Congress a Congress government in both states till a few months back, the dispute could not be resolved. Meanwhile, the 400m or so of the canal in Delhi's territory is yet to be made since DDA has not transferred land to DJB citing encroachments in the area. The whole project is a mess," said sources.
After several meetings, DDA has promised to increase supply by 1MGD through 13 new borewells, but this will take at least two months.