Two buckets of water for Rs 50

Residents of West Patel Nagar allege that Delhi's state run water utility, Delhi Jal Board (DJB), charge Rs 50 per month for two buckets of water, which was supposed to be provided free of cost to the residents.

Water scarcity is common in the city every summer. And in West Patel Nagar, where around one lakh people live, the residents depend on DJB water supply through tanks. The drivers and helpers of the water tanks take advantage of the situation and market water in the black.

Residents of Punjabi village, Jheel village and Baljeet Nagar allege that the driver and the helper who visit their area with the water tank charge Rs 50 per month for allowing them to take water.

And if anybody wants more water, then they have to shell out more money. This is an issue in an area where majority of the population are low income people.

Lok Sewa Samajik Manch President, Aadesh Gupta, said, 'Only the person who is paying money to the water tanker boys, are allowed to take water from the tank. I am living in Baljeet Nagar for the past 20 years and in every summer season the condition of water is same in our colony. In the worst condition, residents even face crisis for drinking water when for several days water do not come in our area.'

This is not a new phenomenon. Earlier, residents were compelled to pay Rs 20 per month to these tankers for water. However, this season, they are demanding Rs 50 from residents, outraging them.

The DJB has already handed over several projects to the private sector over the past couple of years, including water distribution through a fleet of tankers.
The situation in these areas is so bad that to take water from these tanks, residents start forming queues as early as 3 am.

A resident from the area, Arpit Gupta, said, 'Many low income residents are also compelled to live in our area without water for several days. Residents who have fixed income are the ones who are most affected with this price hike by DJB tank workers. We have complained on numerous occasions to the officials of DJB, but to no avail.'

Residents now have demanded DJB CEO and Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit to look after the matter seriously and enquiry should be set up about the grave issue.

When contacted the PRO of DJB, Sanjam Cheema, she said, 'I have no idea about it as I am currently out of town. You can contact other senior officials from the department about the issue.'
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