Water on tap in Delhi, AAP ensures 667 litre a day per connection

Arvind KejriwalThe Aam Aadmi Party has delivered on its promise of ensuring supply of free drinking water to households beginning 1 January.

Within days of taking over the administration of Delhi, the AAP government on Monday announced that 20,000 litres of free water will be supplied per month to all the domestic consumers with functional meter from 1 January 2014.

Delhi Jal Board CEO Vijay Kumar said that the first 20,000 litre of water will come free of cost to each household from 1 January and those whose consumption exceeds this limit will have to pay for the entire quantity of water consumed.

"All the domestic consumers having metered connection will get 20 kilolitres of water free of cost from 1 January. We will not even levy any existing charges such as water cess and sewerage charge," newly-appointed Delhi Jal Board CEO Vijay Kumar said.

The cost of providing the free water would be borne by the DJB for the first three months.

Kumar was appointed CEO of DJB on Saturday evening in place of Debashree Mukherjee who is understood to have reservations over supplying water free of cost.

AAP leader Kumar Vishwas said, "There is no time limit for free water supply, we will continue with this."

However, Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit took a dig at the AAP government saying, "First the government should provide water to those who don't get water at all."

Although chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was indisposed, he chaired a meeting of the Delhi Jal Board officials at his residence that went on for about an hour on Monday, before the announcement was made.

Earlier in the day, Kejriwal had tweeted about his illness and expressed regret about not being able to attend office. "Running 102 fever since yesterday. Severe loose motions. Sad that I won't be able to attend office today," Kejriwal tweeted.

"It was so important to attend office today. We had planned the water announcement. God, bahut galat time par bimaar kiya. (God, you have made me ill at the wrong time)," he added.

Kejriwal was scheduled to chair a meeting of Delhi Jal Board officials on Monday to discuss ways to provide free 700 litres of water to every household as promised by him.

Kejriwal, however, has been criticised for transferring the DJB' CEO for pointing out that free water would cost a huge subsidy to the government.