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Water crisis: Atishi writes to Chief Secy. over delay in ammonia treatment plant


Water Minister Atishi on Thursday said the delay in setting up a plant to treat high ammonia content present in the Yamuna has impacted the drinking water supply in the capital and directed Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar to ensure that bids are invited for the project by January 15.

In a communication to the officer, the Minister also directed him to submit by January 1 a report stating the reasons behind the delay and give a timeline as to when the in situ ammonia treatment plant will be made functional in Wazirabad.

She asked the officer to personally monitor the project’s implementation.

The project was announced earlier this year as high ammonia content prolongs purification process, hitting water production at two treatment plants currently functioning in Wazirabad and Chandrawal.

After the removal of the toxic substance, the water will be sent to the two treatment plants for further purification, augmenting their output as these would be able to produce more water in less time for drinking purposes, according to an official.

‘CM orders ignored’

Ms. Atishi said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had in a meeting of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) on March 15 directed to set up the ammonia plant within six months.

She told the Chief Secretary that no progress has been made by the board till now in this regard.

She added that currently the production of clean water at the Wazirabad and Chandrawal treatment plants has dipped by almost 35-40%, resulting in a drinking water crisis.

“This crisis adversely impacted almost one-fourth of the national capital, affecting densely populated areas such as Sadar Bazar, Civil Lines, Old Delhi, Mukherjee Nagar, Burari, Patel Nagar, Rajinder Nagar, Karol Bagh, Majnu Ka Tilla, ISBT, Barafkhana, Bara Hindu Rao, Kamala Nagar, and Roop Nagar,” she said. Expressing her disappointment over the DJB’s “failure” to implement a key project, she said, “If decisions taken at high-level meetings chaired by the Chief Minister, Ministers-in-charge and the Chief Secretary are not implemented, then it raises serious questions on the government’s working machinery.”

‘Own up responsibility’

Hitting out at the AAP government, Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva accused Ms. Atishi and other Ministers of attempting to hide their failures by putting the onus on officers.

“People of Delhi want to know from Ms. Atishi what her party’s government has done to clean and preserve the Yamuna. The Yamuna enters Delhi at Palla and till Wazirabad, its water remains clean. Thereafter, dozens of drains flow into it, resulting in an increase in pollutants and ammonia levels,” he added.


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