NEW DELHI: Newly-appointed water minister Rajendra Pal Gautam said on Saturday that the “sudden water crisis” the city had witnessed before the civic polls could be politically motivated. However, he did not make any comment on sacked minister Kapil Mishra, who has levelled allegations against CM Arvind Kejriwal.
“Just before civic polls, some households that did not even get water bills earlier suddenly started receiving inflated bills. I was really surprised. I have asked my officials to submit a report on the reasons behind this phenomenon within a week,” Gautam said.
During a meeting on Saturday, DJB officials told the minister that there was no water shortage or any other technical issue at that time. “It seems the matter was politically motivated. I have joined this department (water) with an aim to improve the situation. Information will come to me once I settle down. I will reveal everything when I get the facts,” Gautam added.
DJB officials will identify the areas, which were affected by the alleged water crisis, and submit a report, he said.
The minister claimed that the latest supply crisis has been resolved. “I reviewed the situation today. All plants are working except one. DJB officials are in touch with the Haryana government to maintain regular supply,” Gautam said.
He also alleged some employees manipulated the meter readings to extort money from consumers. “Some meter readers do it, but the blame falls on the government,” he said.
Reacting to the remarks, Mishra said : “It’s not good to start your work with a blame game. DJB engineers and the staff work overtime to manage water supply in Delhi. Is he blaming his own DJB team?”