Delhi’s Water Minister, Atishi, has accused Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar of withholding funds crucial to the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), putting the national capital at risk of a severe water crisis. Atishi called on LG VK Saxena to intervene and demanded the suspension of Finance Secretary Ashish Verma, alleging that he has been blocking DJB funds since August at the chief secretary’s direction.
Water Minister Accuses Chief Secretary of Freezing Funds, Warns of Water Crisis
Despite Atishi’s role as the finance minister of the union territory, the finance department has reportedly refused to release funds for DJB, responsible for water supply to Delhi residents. Atishi emphasized that the freeze on funds could lead to a water crisis, including potential difficulties in paying DJB workers’ salaries.
Taking the matter to social media, Atishi expressed concern over the impending water supply and sewer maintenance crisis due to the Finance Department’s non-release of funds to DJB. She highlighted the changed dynamics post the GNCTD Amendment Act, asserting that officers now follow the LG’s directions, as he controls ‘Services’ and ‘Vigilance.’
This development follows Atishi’s recent submission of a probe report to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, alleging irregularities in land acquisition for the Dwarka expressway. The report claimed Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar benefited a company linked to his son with over ₹850 crore in “illicit profits,” leading Atishi to recommend his suspension and a CBI probe.
The ongoing conflict between the water minister and chief secretary raises concerns about potential disruptions in water supply and sewer maintenance services for the residents of Delhi.