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    New Delhi, Jun 12: As the Supreme Court on Wednesday slammed the AAP government over the role of tanker mafia in the water crisis in the capital, the blame game over the issue intensified with Delhi minister Atishi alleging that senior officials colluded with the mafia to reduce the number of DJB tankers and demanding an inquiry into it.

    After the Supreme Court's observations, the Lieutenant Governor Secretariat wrote to the Delhi Police Commissioner, asking him to take action against the tanker mafia indulging in the theft of water from the Munak canal that carries water from .

    Seeking a compliance report within a week, the LG's communication to the police commissioner directed him to ensure strict vigil along the canal to prevent any theft of water by tanker mafia and other illegal activities.

    People in Delhi are suffering due to water scarcity, the Supreme Court observed on Wednesday as it pulled up the AAP government over water wastage and tanker mafia and sought to know what steps it has taken to ease the recurring problem.

    The court told the Delhi government it will ask the city police to take action against the tanker mafia if it can't deal with them. If the same water can be transported using tankers, why can't it be supplied through the pipeline, a disquieted court said.

    “There are visuals on every channel that the tanker mafia is working in Delhi. What measures have you taken in this regard?… What measures have you taken to control water waste coming through the two barrages if this is a recurring problem? Please show us what action or FIR have you lodged against tanker mafias,” the bench observed orally.

    The top court was hearing a plea filed by the Delhi government seeking a direction to Haryana to release the surplus water provided by Pradesh to the national capital to mitigate its water woes.

    Delhi water minister Atishi, however, accused government officials of reducing the number of Delhi Jal Board (DJB) water tankers without her knowledge, claiming it led to the proliferation of tanker mafia.

    In a to Lt Governor VK Saxena, Atishi demanded an inquiry into the alleged collusion of senior officers with the tanker mafia and requested him to deploy an ACP-level police officer to patrol the stretch of Munak Canal in Delhi to ensure that no illegal water-filling activity takes place there.

    “There is a need for an enquiry into the potential collusion by senior officers in the Delhi government with the tanker mafia because it seems that there has been a deliberate and substantial reduction of the tankers deployed by the Delhi Jal Board in the last one year,” she claimed.

    Atishi said that in January last year, 1,179 tankers were deployed by the Delhi Jal Board and this number was 1,203 in June the same year.

    “However, this number was reduced to 888 in January 2024 without any approval from me. In fact, without any consultation with me. I repeatedly kept flagging the issue of grievances regarding water tanker shortage and asking the CEO DJB to increase the number of tankers, but he did not do so,” she alleged.

    Delhi BJP attacked the AAP government, with its president Virendra Sachdeva along with other party leaders submitting a complaint to the police commissioner for registration of an FIR and a probe into the water theft by the tanker mafia and possible connivance of officials in it.


    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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