After accusing Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit of colluding with power companies to over-charge consumers for electricity, Aam Aadmi Party founder Arvind Kejriwal accused the Delhi Jal Board (DJP) of corruption today.
Kejriwal said that documents in his possession show that the DJP have inflated production figures in the Sonia Vihar plant. Specifically, the water production figures show more water than what was actually supplied to the plant.
He also claimed that the Delhi government started a project in Malviya Nagar with a French company called Degremont to reduce non-revenue water ( water which cannot be created), but the figure for non-revenue was inflated.
According to Prashant Bhushan, contracts with private companies have led to a rise in corruption and an increase in the water tariff. The party has demanded that an FIR along with an independent probe be launched in the matter. He even recommended a CAG audit for the same.
Earlier too Kejriwal accused the Delhi governemnt of irregularities in Delhi Jal Board and effecting an 18-fold hike in the water tariff in last nine years.
“Our water bill, which was Rs 74 nine years ago has swollen to Rs 1,375, which is an 18-fold growth. This is due to corruption in water distribution system under which a French firm run water treatment plant in Sonia Vihar is being paid for inflated quantity of treated water by the government,” he said while launching the 51-day long agitation at Najafgarh.
Delhi Jal Board has rejected the allegations terming them as totally unfounded. Kejriwal had alleged that the firm gets 90 million gallon per day (MGD) water to purify but interestingly it shows an output of 140 MGD “which is impossible”.
The anti-corruption activist asked the people not to pay their “inflated” electricity bill, and said “if you are afraid that you connection would be disconnected and police may take action for reconnecting it, then give a call to me I will come to reconnect the power connection.”
On 1 Feb, Kejriwal had alleged that since electricity was private in 2002, distribution losses incurred by companies have fallen significantly. Instead of passing on the saving to customers, he had said electricity companies have fudged their balance sheets by showing losses.
He had also alleged that power companies projected losses of nearly 600 crore for the years 2010-11 and wanted prices increased. The chairman of the DERC, however, reportedly found their profits would add up to nearly 3000 crore and wanted power rate slashed by about 20%.