MCD wants to take charge of Delhi water supply, sanitation

June 17th, 2009 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, June 17 (IANS) Rebutting Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit’s call last week for bringing the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) under its control, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led civic agency’s standing committee Wednesday said the state government was incapable of handling its water and sanitation departments.
BJP councillors at the MCD standing committee meeting protested the chief minister’s remarks and questioned the Congress-led Delhi government’s capability to handle basic infrastructure, water supply, sanitation and law and order issues.

“Instead of making claims on the corporation, Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit should first figure out how to handle their departments which are plaguing our residents. Water is contaminated and in short supply. Our sewage drains lie open spewing disease. They can’t even handle that,” shouted Mehak Singh, BJP’s councillor from Shahdara.

Former standing committee chairperson Vijender Gupta said the law and order situation in the city was despicable and Delhi Police under the Congress government were doing nothing to address the “growing insecurity” among residents.

He also pointed out that in the MCD’s weekly water testing report, of the 765 samples collected by the public health department in Delhi’s 12 zones, 90 were found unfit for consumption. The situation was worst in the south zone where half of the 50 samples were contaminated, Gupta said.

“The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) tested 411 samples from the same spots and cleared all. Do they want residents to consume contaminated water?” Gupta said.

The BJP-led Delhi government under then chief minister Sahib Singh Verma in 1998 had taken charge of water, sanitation, transport and electricity departments in the capital.

Leader of opposition in the MCD J.K. Sharma, of the Congress, was quick to point this out and said, “The BJP easily forgot about that”.

Amidst banging of tables and slogans like “Congress can’t handle water and sanitation; Give water and sanitation back; Sheila Dikshit Hai Hai”, chairman Ram Kishan Singhal tried in vain to pacify angry councillors and finally adjourned the weekly meeting at the Town Hall in Chandni Chowk within an hour of its start.

“The MCD standing committee has collectively criticised and condemned the Delhi government’s DJB’s inept handling of water and sanitation and said the chief minister’s attempts to bring the MCD under it’s control were deplorable,” Gupta told reporters.

Rajni Abbi, deputy chairperson of the standing committee, said: “The MCD handles civic issues and is an elected body. The corporation is not a piece of cake that the chief minister can cut into pieces and feast on.”

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