NEW DELHI: The police used water cannons to disperse Delhi BJP leaders and workers as they tried to cut the water connection to Delhi Jal Board chairman (DJB) Satyendar Jain’s house on Monday to protest the alleged poor water supply in the city.
Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta, who led the protesters, said the party workers will cut off the water supply to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence if the “water crisis” in the city is not resolved within the next two days.
Later, the BJP claimed in a statement that several party workers and leaders were injured as the police used water cannons on them and baton-charged them.
However, a senior police officer denied the use of force by police against protesters.
He also said no one was injured when protesters were being dispersed by the police.
The BJP’s protest came a day after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers allegedly damaged the water connection to Gupta’s residence in Patel Nagar during a protest against the Haryana government for allegedly not providing the capital its share of water.
Addressing the protesters, Gupta said, “People in Delhi are craving for every drop of water. The ministers of the Kejriwal government will realise the problems being faced by the people when their water supply is cut off.”
Delhi BJP media cell head Navin Kumar said, “We used a JCB machine to remove the waterline outside Jain’s residence. We will cut the water connection to Kejriwal’s residence, too, if the Delhi government fails to resolve the water crisis within the next two days.”
He claimed around 10 party workers were detained by police during the protest.
“There were around 300 to 400 protesters. Around 10 protesters, led by president of Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha Vasu Rukhar, were detained at the spot for some time but were released later,” he said.
On Saturday, DJB vice chairman Raghav Chadha alleged that Haryana was withholding part of Delhi’s share of water.
He said the DJB had moved the Supreme Court seeking directions to Haryana to release the capital’s legitimate share of water.
The DJB has been supplying 945 million gallons of water a day (MGD) to city residents this summer against the demand of 1,150 MGD, he said.
At present, Delhi has been receiving 479 MGD against 609 MGD from Haryana.
Besides, Delhi draws 90 MGD groundwater and receives 250 MGD from the Upper Ganga Canal, he said.
Countering Chadha, Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri on Monday claimed that according to an agreement, Haryana has to supply 500 MGD of water every month to Delhi.
However, it’s providing 640 MGD of water per month to Delhi, he said, challenging Kejriwal and Chadha for a debate on the issue.
Bidhuri alleged that the DJB, which was once running in profit Rs 800 crore, was now running in loss due to corruption and mismanagement.
When the AAP came to power in Delhi, there was a requirement of 800 MGD of water.
Now, against a requirement of 1,300 MGD, the DJB only supplies 775 MGD of water, he claimed.