Centre should increase Delhi's share of water

Saurabh Bhardwaj

Saurabh Bhardwaj


City’s population has risen manifold since 1994 but its water share has remained unchanged, says Saurabh Bhardwaj

New Delhi: AAP's national spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj, who will soon be joining the Delhi cabinet as a minister, said that the city's population has risen manifold since 1994 but its water share has remained unchanged and asked the Centre to increase it. Bhardwaj said the priorities of the AAP government are infrastructure and providing clean water to the residents in Delhi, apart from education and health.

"We are trying to beautify stretches of Delhi with street furniture and creation of walking and sitting spaces. At 10 places, one-kilometre-long stretches have been redeveloped. Now the plan is to extend it to the rest of Delhi," he told PTI in an interview. Bhardwaj, who is also the vice-chairman of the Delhi Jal Board, said they have promised that before the next election, Yamuna will be cleaned.

"The sewage that goes into Yamuna will trap it and through different sewage treatment plants and release clean water into the river. Human waste flows into drains from all unauthorised colonies and then from those drains, it flows into the Yamuna. It is not only against environmental norms but all the waste goes into a pious river," he said. Apart from ensuring a clean Yamuna, another issue that Delhi is grappling with is limited sources of water.

"It is something (water share of Delhi) that was decided in 1994 and since then the population has grown. We have requested from the Centre that our share of water should be in proportion to the population. "See, it is not Delhi's population. Delhi is a mini-India where people from other states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Bihar have settled. So we should get that share of water from India. We have been asking the Centre for it," he explained.

The senior leader said that as a minister, his priorities will be to make government departments more accountable to the people and ensure greater convenience in the public-government interface. Bhardwaj and Atishi's names were sent by the Delhi government to LG VK Saxena for their elevation as Cabinet ministers, following the resignations of Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain, who were arrested in different cases of alleged corruption. The 43-year-old reminisced about the time before he joined India Against Corruption where he had fixed offs and a work-life balance.

"I went into the India Against Corruption movement when IT was booming. I was earning good money, there was a work-life balance. "Whenever we travelled, we stayed in five-star hotels. I have worked in Hyderabad, Milwaukee in Wisconsin, the US, and Gurugram. Then, I got invested in India Against Corruption. I met people there, registered as a volunteer, and then the party was registered on November 26, 2012. I am also one of the founding members of the party," he said. But what made him quit his job? The AAP leader replied: "It was no more exciting. I thought working as a social activist would be a good forum to meet people, make governments and departments accountable and probably change the way governance happens."

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