New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is set to announce 24×7 water supply in the national capital as a key promise in its election manifesto for the 8 February Delhi assembly polls, ThePrint has learnt.
Chief Minister Kejriwal had promised round-the-clock water supply while inaugurating an underground reservoir in south Delhi’s Kishangarh in December.
Sources said water supply will be a key issue in the party manifesto alongside women’s safety and a cleaner environment.
AAP has constituted an election manifesto committee headed by senior leader Atishi. Jasmine Shah and Ajoy Kumar are the other members of the committee. The manifesto is expected to be launched between 15 and 20 January.
For an unplanned city like Delhi that is heavily dependent on neighbouring states for water, the primary challenge is the availability of water itself.
Delhi’s estimated water demand at present is around 1,150 million gallons daily (MGD). The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) provides around 950 MGD of water through various sources per day. For 24×7 water supply, this 200 MGD gap is key.
The Delhi government has partnered Himachal Pradesh for an additional supply of 200-250 MGD. Jammu and Kashmir is expected to provide extra supply to take up the total to at least 1,100 MGD, a DJB member told ThePrint.
Kejriwal is also looking at plugging the main leakage points in Delhi by laying new pipelines and installing flow metres apart from seeking additional water supply from neighbouring states.
“There is an immense amount of wastage of water in Delhi since we aren’t able to control leakage occurring at various points in the distribution cycle. So, we are coming up with modules to address that for starters. Experts have been consulted in this regard,” a senior AAP leader working on the manifesto told ThePrint on the condition of anonymity.
Under lake rejuvenation projects, 240 water bodies will also be revived to help improve the water table in Delhi, said a Delhi government official who didn’t wish to be named.
During the inauguration of the Kishangarh reservoir last month, CM Arvind Kejriwal had said his government had ended the nexus between the tanker mafia and politicians by increasing the coverage area of water supply in Delhi from 58 to 93 per cent.
“Within the next five years, you will get water round-the-clock. The water will be so clean that one would be able to directly consume it from the tap. This is my promise. It won’t happen overnight, but will take some time,” Kejriwal said.
In 2013, AAP’s first manifesto had promised 20,000 litres of free piped water per household per day. Clubbed with a power subsidy, the move played a major role in strengthening the party.
Other manifesto promises
A safer metropolitan for women and a “swachh” and pollution-free Delhi are the other key promises expected to be part of AAP’s 2020 manifesto, besides free bus rides for students.
The AAP government is also working towards making Delhi the sporting capital in Asia, aiming to build more sports complexes besides a sports university set to come up, multiple sources told ThePrint.
Further, traffic management with better roads is set to be part of the manifesto. Currently, a project is under way to redesign 40 km of PWD roads. Depending on the outcome, all major roads of Delhi will be redesigned to help address the city’s traffic woes, added the sources.
Delhi will vote on 8 February and results will be declared on 11 February.