Atishi’s ultimatum to DJB CEO on contaminated water
Expressing a strong displeasure over complaints of water contamination in New Friends Colony in the national capital, Delhi Water Minister Atishi on Monday wrote to the Delhi Jal Board CEO demanding the resolution of the issue within 48 hours.
Sounding a warning to the DJB officials, Atishi hinted at action against concerned officers to counter laxity by the DJB officers in ensuring clean water to all residents of Delhi. “Heads must roll if residents of Delhi are getting dirty water. It is the responsibility of the DJB to ensure that every resident in Delhi gets clean and adequate water,” she added.
On Sunday, hours after Delhi BJP chief Virendra Sachdeva wrote to the Central probe agencies and Lt Governor (L-G) VK Saxena seeking an investigation into alleged irregularities in the tendering process for upgrading the sewage treatment plants run by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), the ruling AAP hit back at him saying everyone knows that bureaucracy in the city reports to the Centre and the saffron party has “chosen to protect all corrupt officials”.
Responding to the charges made by the BJP, the AAP said that everyone knows that the bureaucracy in Delhi reports to the BJP-ruled Centre. “They have all the powers to take any kind of disciplinary action against any official. So far, BJP has chosen to only protect all corrupt officials of the Delhi government including the Chief Secretary,” the AAP contended.
It further said that every day they allege a new scam, “but they don’t take any action against any official although they have all the powers. This is nothing but political drama”.
The AAP said that now the BJP is alleging that some officers of DJB have violated tender guidelines. “The Delhi government has itself asked the DJB and the Finance Department to identify errant officers based on complaints received so far, but no action has been taken yet,” it said.
It also said that the ministers play no role whatsoever in the tendering process, which is all handled by concerned officials.
“It is not the Minister’s responsibility to look into the technicalities and rules of NGT, DPCC, or CPCB, but rather the job of DJB officials to take cognisance of such standards,” AAP said.
The Delhi ruling party further said that it is well known that the GNCTD Act does not give powers to the elected government to take any action. “But if any kind of wrongdoing has taken place, we would urge L-G to take the strongest possible action against anyone who has worked against the public interest.”
The sharp reactions from the Delhi government came after Sachdeva alleged that the AAP government in Delhi “hurriedly” awarded the upgrading and augmentation work at “escalated” costs by “flouting norms”.
“Estimates were prepared by the consultant on the basis of a single quotation, resulting in the estimates being higher than the market rate. During the process, the rates of items/works (mainly civil works) were prepared on higher sides and thereafter, works were awarded at Rs 1,938 crore – 28 per cent higher than the estimated cost of Rs 1,508 crore,” the BJP leader said.
In his complaint, Sachdeva further alleged that there were “tweaks” in the tendering process to “favour” two bidders and the work was divided into packages to award projects without the mandatory detailed project reports.
He also sent detailed notes on this to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the L-G, seeking an investigation into the alleged irregularities, the BJP statement said.
Sachdeva also called for the cancellation of the projects awarded to the contractors and sought an enquiry against officials for allegedly showing “undue haste” in awarding those.
The BJP leader has alleged that the cost of the projects was “shockingly higher” and that the Delhi government showed “extreme hurriedness” to award the projects without due diligence and cost analysis.News Related