Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday instructed Delhi Jal Board (DJB) officials to modernise the city's four water treatment plants and find a "permanent solution" to remove contaminants.
For this, he said, authorities should develop a time-bound comprehensive plan, according to an official statement issued after a review meeting chaired by the chief minister.
He also stressed upon officials that the "presence of dirty water in any part of Delhi should be completely eradicated", it said.
In the meeting, which was attended by Water Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj, DJB vice chairperson Somnath Bharti and senior officials of the Board, Kejriwal expressing concern over the issue of contamination of supply water, reiterated that a "permanent solution" to the problem should be found.
Stressing on the need for modernisation of the treatment plants, he directed officials to take immediate action to upgrade filters to ensure clean water to people.
These plants currently suffer from excessive turbidity and their upgrade is crucial to meet quality standards, he noted.
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"If ammonia is identified as the source of contamination, swift measures will be taken to eliminate it, including thorough pipeline inspections," the chief minister said.
Contamination of water because of pipelines must be "promptly addressed, and if necessary, replacement should be undertaken", Kejriwal said during the meeting.
The chief minister noted that there were complaints about ammonia contamination in several tube wells and said resolving these issues has to be a priority, the statement said.
He instructed the DJB to tackle localised ammonia contamination concerns through comprehensive measures and a detailed action plan, it said.
"Furthermore, areas experiencing nitrate-related complaints should get nitrate removal systems to ensure safe drinking water," Kejriwal said.
He said ammonia removal plants are being installed to effectively tackle contamination and added that four non-operational plants would be working within the next two to two and a half months.
Kejriwal also emphasised the importance of completing these projects within a timeframe, with the ultimate goal of supplying clean water directly to the homes of Delhi residents, the statement said.
Installation of tube wells to enhance availability of water should be expedited to ensure uninterrupted supply, particularly during the months of January and February, he said.
In the meeting, officials informed the chief minister that necessary permissions have been obtained for installing tube wells at 400 locations.
"Efforts to acquire land in required areas should be intensified to expedite the completion of tube well installations," Kejriwal said and directed officials to "identify the specific locations where tube wells are needed in Delhi and subsequently issue tenders accordingly".
Once the entire process is finalised, work for installation of tube wells can start, "effectively providing a swift solution to the water problem in the city", he said.
He also issued directions for the installation of reverse osmosis (RO) plants wherever necessary to improve water quality.
On the tube wells project, the statement said in the first phase, the installation of 450 tube wells will result in a 70 million gallons per day (MGD) increase in water capacity within the next six months.
Following the installation of these tube wells, the total water capacity of Delhi will rise to 1,060 MGD, it said.
The chief minister stressed on completing this phase within the designated six-month time-frame and also highlighted the necessity of developing a streamlined plan for future tube well installations.
He directed officials to upgrade "existing and outdated tube wells with state-of-the-art systems and identify specific locations, based on clusters, for installing high-tech systems while maintaining a conventional system in other areas", according to the statement.
The chief minister said that the installation of "high-tech systems" on identified tube wells should be completed within the next four months, it said.
During the meeting, Kejriwal also stressed on accelerating the creation of lakes in suitable areas of the city and proposed utilising a significant portion of treated water in these lakes, while strictly controlling and refraining from releasing it into the Yamuna river, the statement said.
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