Delhi government decides to extend free water scheme to NDMC areas

New Delhi, October 22: In a major move, the Delhi government on Saturday decided to extend the scheme of giving free water of 20,000 litres per month to the residents of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) area with retrospective effect.

“So far, people of entire Delhi, except those living in NDMC area, benefited from this scheme. Now we have decided to retrospectively implement the same in NDMC area,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said after a cabinet meeting here.

“The scheme would be implemented from the same date it was implemented in the rest of Delhi,” he added.

Delhi is divided into three urban regions — the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCD), the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), and the Delhi Cantonment Board.

The NDMC area includes VVIP zones, including Lutyens area, Parliament House, Rashtrapati Bhavan, North Block, South Block and the Supreme Court.

“The old water bills of people living there will be refunded and Delhi government will pay subsidy amount to NDMC,” Kejriwal said.

Immediately after coming to power, the Aam Aadmi Party had decided to give free water upto 20,000 litres per month to every household in Delhi as promised in its poll manifesto.

The cabinet also approved a proposal to increase the capacity of an under-construction hospital in Ambedkar Nagar from 200 beds to 600 beds.

“Earlier, we were making a 200-bed hospital at the cost of Rs 125 crore. But now we will have 600 beds at a total cost of Rs 181 crore,” the Chief Minister said.

This will bring down the per bed cost from Rs 62 lakh to Rs 13.75 lakh, he added.

The AAP government also announced its decision to make permanent ‘ghats’ on the river Yamuna bank by 2017. Kejriwal said the process of making ‘pucca’ (concrete) ghats was already started in light of the upcoming Chhath Pooja.

“All ghats will be made concrete by next year’s (2017) Chhath Pooja,” he said.