31 January 2015

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JAL SWARAJ Aam Aadmi Party’s White Paper on Water

JAL SWARAJ Aam Aadmi Party’s White Paper on Water

The NCT Delhi is a territorially small and largely urbanized city-state with a large and
growing concentration of population. Despite being a small territory, it has great
significance since it’s not just any metropolitan city but also the national capital.
However, Delhi is largely dependent for its water supply on external resources, over
which it exercises little or no control. The city gets it water from the Ganga basin,
Yamuna sub-basin, Indus basin and its internal aquifers. These sources are fast getting
depleted due to ever accelerating demand. 1.8 crore people of Delhi deserve an efficient
and regular with effective sewage treatment.

The population of Delhi increased from 138 lakh in 2001 to 167 lakh in 2011, which is expected to rise to 230 lakh in 2021. Out of 33.41 lakh households in Delhi, only about 20 lakh have piped water supply system. Thus, over 50 lakh people do not get piped water in their homes and are dependent on other sources like tankers, borewells, Yamuna, canals and ponds.

The depleting ground water level in Delhi has become a matter of serous concern. At some places in South and South West Delhi, the water table has gone down to 30-70 meters below the ground level. The quality of underground reserves is deteriorating and at many places has been found to be unfit for human consumption. While the salinity of ground water is increasing in Southwest and North-West Delhi, fluoride and chemical concentrations are higher than prescribed limits at various locations.

Delhi has a serious water scarcity, much of which  is due to the mismanagement and inequitable distribution of water. The CAG estimates that the DJB is losing more than Rs. 1000 crore every year due to mismanagement and corruption. 45% households are not connected to water sewerage network and thus, 350 million gallons of wastewater that could otherwise be used after recycling is lost everyday. About Rs 32000 crore has been spent in water and sewerage sector by the Delhi government over the last 10 years yet there has not been much improvement in the city’s water services. The situation is dire and Delhi needs a complete transformation of its water situation

AAP wants to give the citizens of Delhi the right to water. We believe that water like air is one of the most basic requirements for every human being. AAP also believe that the right to food should include the right to water. To provide safe drinking water to people is
the first and foremost duty of an elected government. To deal with the acute water crisis prevailing in Delhi AAP has outlined an actionable blueprint of providing clean and regular supply of water to all Delhi Citizens:

1.  AAP will provide Water as a Right.
a.  It will provide universal access to clean drinking water to all its citizens of
Delhi at an affordable price.
b.  The DJB Act will be amended to make clean drinking water a right of

2.  Free Lifeline Water: AAP will ensure free lifeline water of upto 20 kiloliter to every household with DJB’s metered water connection.

3.  AAP will make a time bound plan of action for covering all residents of Delhi with piped water and sewage network in all parts irrespective of their legal status.
There will be no discrimination between planned/non-planned; authorized/ non-authorized; regularized/ non-regularized; city or village.

4.  Equitable and adequate water supply in all parts of the NCT of Delhi by laying of
new pipe lines, construction of UGRs, Booster Pumping Stations and Water
treatment Plants.

5.  Tough steps will be taken up to eliminate water mafia, and regulate private
tankers effectively to ensure low cost to the consumer.

6.  AAP will ensure the strong implementation of the High Court order to ensure that Delhi gets extra raw water from Haryana in the Munak canal, an issue on which the BJP government in Haryana and the Center have been dithering. We will also operationalize water treatment plants in Dwarka, Bawana and Okhla. In order to widen DJB water network, residents in water scarce areas will be connected with
the Delhi Jal Board pipeline.

7.  All residential societies who at present are not provided with Delhi Jal Board
Water connection and as a result are deprived of DJB’s piped water supply will be
covered with the water pipe lines. All existing regulatory and policy frameworks on
water will be streamlined on the formation of AAP government.

8.  Setting up a network of Piaos (water kiosks); public hydrants to ensure availability of safe drinking water free-of-charge in Jhonpri/Jhuggi (JJ) colonies as well as other underdeveloped areas of the city facing scarcity of water.

9.  Realistic water demand projection will be prepared and losses through leakages
will be steadily reduced. Initiate water accounting and auditing.

10. In order to reduce demand for potable water and to promote its conservation, AAP will implement a dual water distribution system to reclaim community’s waste
water to reuse after recycle for non-domestic purposes. This program will be
taken up in the planned colonies; group housing societies and also in big
residential apartments, as well as in malls and commercial complexes.

11. Decentralized sophisticated water purification network shall be set up to provide
good quality premium water supply with the participation of RWAs/NGOs.

12. To conserve and augment the ground water reserves, Rainwater harvesting and
harnessing will be made compulsory. Such families shall be called water friendly
families. Govt. shall provide certain incentives to such families in their water bill.

13. Reviving the Yamuna: more STPs will be constructed and sewerage network will
be laid in all the parts of Delhi. Monitoring of flow, discharge and quality will be
started. Cutting-edge technologies will be adopted and more laboratories will be
set up at sector/zonal level for 24-hour surveillance hours to monitor the quality of
reclaimed water. Penetration of non-treated water into the river Yamuna will be
strictly restricted.

AAP’s Detailed Blueprint on Water

Free lifeline water

Each household having a metered connection will get average 700 liters of free water every day. This amounts to 20 kiloliters per month per household. This is considered to be lifeline water, which is needed for basic dignified existence.

This scheme will bring many benefits to the DJB (Delhi Jal Board) consumers.
1.  It promotes conservation of water by those households who would consciously cut their consumption to reduce their water bills.

2.  It will facilitate provisioning of piped water to those areas that are currently water stressed or have no piped water supply network since the Delhi government will be under moral obligation to provide equal benefits of this scheme to every citizen of Delhi.

3.  This scheme will also encourage water metering.

4.  Provision of lifeline water scheme shall be extended to group housing societies by making bulk allotments based on number of houses, which will incentivize
societies to self-regulate their consumption.

5.  The supply and distribution of water will be made available to all citizenry on a fair; adequate and an equitable manner and no one shall be discriminated against in this regard.

Universal access to water

1.  AAP will provide water to all residents in uniform, adequate and an equitable

2.  AAP will ensure that each home, colony and living establishment gets a water
connection to sustain basic life and economic activities.

3.  A comprehensive and time bound water and sewage pipe laying network plan will be introduced to provide potable water to all house hold in Delhi irrespective of
any discrimination of locality basis.

4.  Entire Delhi resident will be connected with the Delhi Jal Board Water Pipe
network those do not currently have a piped water connection. This will be done in
5 years.

5.  AAP make a special commitment to all unauthorized colonies, group housing
societies and water-starved constituencies. DJB water will be made available to
them. This will be done by:

a.  Getting water from Haryana through the Munak canal

b.  Reviving non-functional water plants like Dwarka, Bawana, and Okhla

c.  Building dedicated decentralized Water Treatment Plants for poor ground
water quality zones having water deficit or no treated water supply.

d.  Water connections in groups for JJ localities.

Pricing policy of AAP for drinking water

Water is not a commodity or an economic good. No human being can survive without water. AAP has an important concern in the context of the right to water being part of the fundamental the right to life. Henceforth the pricing policy of AAP shall remain public friendly. AAP will provide universal access to potable water to all its citizens of Delhi at a sustainable and affordable price.

1.  Make tariff hike changes on need-base and abolish the mandatory annual 10%
hike in water tariffs.

2.  AAP government will abolish the C-1A category to provide relief to the
households, which are running small shops at their residence (less than 100
square feet) for their livelihood and not using water for commercial purposes, for
which they are charged commercial rates.

Commitment to water quality

Safe drinking water is a sine qua non of a healthy society. AAP will have a special focus and holistic approach to guarantee a safe and accessible water supply with quality standards as per BIS: 10500 certification. Following steps will be taken:

1.  Setting up water sample collection points at Zonal level for random checking of
water quality.

2.  Zonal laboratory in each of the 9 zones in Delhi to test the chemical condition of
water, sediments, organic and inorganic contaminants.

3.  Water Quality Monitoring shall be conducted on a 24X7 basis.
Water Accounting and Auditing

A comprehensive water supply accounting and auditing is essential to ascertain the
exact demand and supply of water. At present Delhi Jal Board has no credible data. AAP will launch a comprehensive program for installation of bulk and domestic water meters.

State of the art techniques and technologies shall be used to monitor the pressure in
water pipe line, the water flow and supply. This will help in measuring accurate projection of water demand and collection of water supply data.

Clampdown on Water Mafia

1.  AAP is committed to clamping down on Delhi’s powerful tanker mafia, and
prosecuting the political leaders who protect and control the water mafia.

2.  AAP will put in place a transparent Tanker water distribution system by
implementation of state of the art techniques and technologies i.e. GPS/GPRS;
data acquisition and flow monitoring and data base system. The schedule of
tankers operating in different localities would be made available online.  

3.  Private tankers will be regulated to ensure consumer protection against exorbitant prices.

4.  AAP opposes the privatization of the DJB, and reaffirms its commitment to provide clean water in every home in Delhi at an affordable price. A performance audit of private contracts will be done and those that are not functioning well or not
maintained properly or proved expensive will be terminated.

Plug Leakages and Stop Theft

1.  More bulk meters at important points in the network to measure the flow of water and check for leakages or theft of water.

2.  Strengthen leak detection cell with new technology to save water and to maintain

3.  Urgent repair to broken pipelines to prevent leakages.

Commitment to Rainwater harvesting to Recharge Ground Water & Water Bodies

Tremendous growth in population, mismanagement in water distribution system and high level of urbanization in Delhi has resulted in over-exploitation of ground water resources.

Ground water levels are declining at an alarming rate and the water table is precariously
low. To recharge Delhi’s groundwater resources, we will:

1.  AAP will take steps to regulate the tube-wells and borewells installed and
operating in the city. 

2.  We will utilize Delhi’s abundant borewells/tube wells for rainwater recharge by
rainwater harvesting policies.

3.  We will prioritize the development of local and decentralized water resources
exploring the ideas of rainwater harvesting, recharge wells, borehole flooding,
watershed development, soil-water conservation programs and other small

4.  We will revive Delhi’s water bodies like lakes, ponds, baolis, etc. by rainwater
recharging and maintaining them in partnership with mohalla sabhas.

5.  Rainwater harvesting (RWH) has been made compulsory in Tamil Nadu. Learning lessons from Tamil Nadu, the AAP government will throw its weight behind RWH and strongly push in a top-down manner. Incentives will be provided for the same.

The Delhi Jal Board will also be made a partner and stakeholder in this project
and it will be the nodal agency to disseminate information about the various types
of soils and knowhow about RWH.

6.  All societies; apartments and building irrespective of public or private; government schools, commercial and office buildings and hotels will have RWH systems.

7.  Collection of rainwater and surface runoff through check dams at the banks of
Yamuna and wherever else possible.

8.  Sewage has to be seen as great resource and urban society as the greatest
generator of wastewater. AAP will encourage public to use treated and recycled
water in other than non-domestic purposes. This approach will help to down the
water supply demand in order to decrease their fresh water consuming entity and
to reduce abstraction of more ground water.

9.  Prevent misuse of borewells. There is an urgent need for legislation regulating the use of groundwater in Delhi.

Yamuna Revival

The Yamuna River is a part of the culture of Delhi. It is our responsibility to revive this dying river. Just like England revived the Thames by imposing strict rules, we too can rejuvenate Yamuna if we have the political will:

1.  There will be a close and strict monitoring of all industries that discharge water
into the river. Most of the pollution happens at night, while the current monitoring
happens during the day only. All effluents into the river shall be monitored 24*7.

2.  No untreated water, whether industrial or domestic sewage will enter Yamuna.

3.  More sewage treatment plants will be constructed and emphasis will be laid on
secondary treatment after which the water can be used for horticulture, car wash,
toilet flushing and other purposes. This water can generate more revenue for DJB.

4.  Steps will be taken to promote flood-plain conservation.

5.  All construction on the Yamuna should be banned: both government and private.

6.  Finish the construction of Yamuna dam. The new government has given the dam
environmental clearance.

7.  No encroachments/construction in flood plains will be allowed.

8.  River cleaning and desiltation work will be done on regular basis.

Swaraj in Water

1.  Promotion of Jal Swaraj or governance and management of water by Citizens
(Concept of Public-Public Partnership)

2.  Citizens Water Council for Water Governance (Jal Swaraj Samiti) in Delhi at
Mohalla level within RWAs or in Schools/colleges so student learn about water
management and savings by managing their waters themselves at School for
drinking or sanitation purposes.

3.  Share of profit with RWA in special projects and money earn by RWA can be
utilized for environmental upliftment in their respective society or Mohalla.

Reality views by sm –

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Tags – AAP Manifesto Jal Policy