L-G taking false credit for Bhalswa Lake cleaning: Bharadwaj

New Delhi: Lt Governor VK Saxena is claiming “false credit” for the cleaning and rejuvenation work at Bhalswa Lake that has been underway since January 2022, Delhi Jal Board Chairman Saurabh Bharadwaj alleged on Tuesday.

Reacting to Bharadwaj’s allegations, an official from the L-G Secretariat said his claims were “unfortunate, baseless and bereft of facts”.

In a strongly-worded statement, Bharadwaj accused Saxena of engaging in petty public relations activities and attempting to take credit for the efforts of the Arvind Kejriwal government.

He alleged that the Lt Governor has been consistently claiming credit for various initiatives related to the Yamuna cleaning, lake rejuvenation and drain de-silting, which have been going on for several years.

Saxena, accompanied by Delhi government officials, on Tuesday visited Bhalswa Lake and took to his Twitter handle to announce that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) was responsible for the rejuvenation work, suggesting that it began after his first visit in October 2022.

Bharadwaj responded to Saxena’s claims on Twitter, sharing copies of work orders and other documents.

He said the work at Bhalswa Lake, like at other water bodies, was being carried out by the Kejriwal government, with the Delhi Jal Board being at the forefront.

Bharadwaj, who holds the Water department portfolio, also shared the work order, amounting to Rs 4.52 crore, issued by the Delhi Jal Board on January 4, 2022, which predated Saxena’s appointment.

Saxena assumed office in May 2022 while the DDA granted permission to the Delhi Jal Board to work on the lake’s rejuvenation on May 17, 2019. Bharadwaj said the DDA, as an agency under the central government, owns a significant portion of land and lakes in the city.

Recognising that many of these water bodies were in a dilapidated state, Kejriwal directed the Delhi Jal Board to coordinate with the land-owning agency to undertake their rejuvenation using the funds allocated by the city government.

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