New Delhi– The Delhi High Court on Thursday criticised the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government policy of providing 20 kilo litres of free water across the board for domestic use and said “nothing should be given free” unless the poor need it.

“Nothing should be given free to anybody. Charge 10 paise or one paisa. Nothing should be given free, except where people really need it like the poor,” said a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar.

The bench observed that providing free water to people living in the slum clusters could be accepted but not for those who could afford it.

Meanwhile, the state of Haryana government told the court that it had floated tenders for repairing the Delhi Sub Branch Canal (DSBC), which also carries water to the national capital, besides the Munak canal.

The tenders would be opened in June and the work was expected to be completed in four months, the Haryana government said.

The court asked the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to inform on the next date of hearing whether there was any policy to regulate ground water usage, as private companies had been draining the water table of the national capital.

The court has listed the matter for further hearing on July 23.

The court was hearing a plea, filed by advocate S.B. Tripathi, who has sought direction for the DJB to provide 100 per cent sewage facility in the entire city and the Central government to provide financial assistance to the DJB for the work.

The plea said that in 2016, the DJB had told the court that only 55 per cent of the Delhi population was covered with sewage facility and there was no sewage facility available to the remaining 45 per cent.

Tripathi has said as 330 cusecs of water was supplied by Haryana through a “kutcha” canal, 50 per cent of water was being lost due to seepage and Delhi got only about 170-180 cusec water per day. (IANS)

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