The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) on Wednesday accused the AAP government of misleading the people after hiking the water charges by 20 per cent, and threatened to launch an agitation from January 1, if the Kejriwal government did not apologise to the citizens of the capital.
Addressing a press conference here, DPCC chief Ajay Maken said that in the outcome budget for 2016-17, the Delhi Government had admitted that only 4.28 lakh households were getting water at subsidised rates from the Delhi Jal Board for consumption of up to 20,000 litres of water.
In Delhi, there are 40,000 water metres and 46,05,555 houses, according to the census figures of 2011. Every year, the population of Delhi increases by 2.42 per cent and on the basis of that estimate, there should be at least 50 lakh households in the national capital by now, Mr Maken noted.
He said out of these 50 lakh households, only eight per cent people are getting water subsidy, while the rest of the 92 per cent households are paying increased water tariffs, which have been increased by one-third in the last three years.
He said along with the increase in water tariff, 60 per cent sewer charges are also being charged. Others present at the press conference included senior leader Chattar Singh, Spokesperson Puja Bahri and chief media co-ordinator Mehndi Majid. Mr Maken said he wanted to ask Mr Kejriwal why he was lying to the people of Delhi regarding supply of free water, when only eight per cent households were beneficiaries of water subsidy.
He said he had also written a letter to Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri regarding the ongoing sealing and demolition drive in the Capital. ”I have requested him to consider reducing the conversion charges from residential to commercial to 10 per cent from 100 per cent as businesses have suffered,” he said, adding that people of Delhi had been caught in the grip of a sealing and demolition drive.
Mr Maken said he was also extremely pained by the Amendment Bill, through which the government seeks to do away with the protection from displacement provided to street vendors and hawkers in the National Capital.
The DPCC chief said the apathy of the BJP-led MCDs and the AAP government had led to the displacement of lakhs of vendors across Delhi in the recent past and in such a situation, the decision of the BJP Government to take away the protection provided to them under the UPA-enacted Delhi Special Laws, will be a direct assault on the livelihood and existence of nearly five lakh street vendors and hawkers of Delhi.
He demanded that the amendment proposed to this extent be reversed unconditionally.