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Kejriwal urges Centre to increase water allocation for Delhi

NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday demanded that Delhi's share in water allocation which was fixed at 875 cusecs in 1996 and has remained static since then needs to be urgently raised with upward revision since the population of the national capital has nearly doubled since then.

The demand was made by the Chief Minister in a meeting with the Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, which was attended by Delhi Urban Development Minister, Satyendar Jain, Chief Secretary Vijay Dev and all top officials from the Union Ministry and the Delhi Jal Board.

Kejriwal informed the Union Minister that Delhi's water requirement was last fixed in 1996 when the population of the city was 1.25 crore, and in the last 23 years Delhi has undergone massive expansion since then and the population has also shot up during last more than two decades.

The Chief Minister appealed to Shekhawat to urgently address the issue of increasing the water allocation of Delhi.

The Chief Minister said the water demand in Delhi will further go up in coming months and years with the Delhi Development Authority's (DDA) Land Pooling policy coming up. According to policy, atleast 16 lakh new flats will be constructed in the city and this will further increase the water demand in a major way.

The Chief Minister requested the Union Minister to expedite the necessary approvals for the Delhi government's ambitious project for natural water storage in the Yamuna floodplains. Kejriwal explained that with this project Delhi will be able to meet its water demand for atleast half year with the storage of single day Monsoon rain.

Union Jal Shakti minister Shekhawat assured that the Union Ministry will examine the Delhi government's proposal and give its opinion within three days of receiving it.

The Chief Minister informed in the meeting that Delhi government is giving top priority to water conservation and as a major step Rain Water Harvesting is being made compulsory in all Delhi government school buildings and government buildings. This will ensure water conservation in a big way. Delhi government is also installing localised Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) in all buildings of Delhi government schools to minimise wastage of water.

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