₹2,000 challan for water wastage by washing cars: Are Delhiites welcoming Jal Board's decision? - Hindustan Times
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2,000 challan for water wastage by washing cars: Are Delhiites welcoming Jal Board's decision?

ByKriti Kambiri
May 30, 2024 10:00 PM IST

Delhiites are reacting to Delhi Jal Board's decision to impose ₹2,000 challan on those found wasting water by washing vehicles. Is it a fine move? Read on

It’s merely days since the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) announced a penalty of 5,000 on residents who wash their vehicles with potable water, during 5am and 9am (the water supply hours). Now the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has followed suit by announcing a challan of 2,000 on anyone found washing their vehicles with a hose or a pipe. The acute water shortage amid intense heatwave in the Capital had been causing citizens to take to social media to complain about the challenges they are facing. Taking an action on this, 200 teams have been deployed across the Capital to disconnect illegal water connections and challan violators who are found wasting waster in washing vehicles. While many Delhiites are welcoming this change, some say just a penalty isn’t enough.

Residents have been asked to be mindful of their water usage, especially when several areas in the Capital face acute shortage.(Photo: Sanchit Khanna/HT (For representational purposes only))
Residents have been asked to be mindful of their water usage, especially when several areas in the Capital face acute shortage.(Photo: Sanchit Khanna/HT (For representational purposes only))

A welcome change!

For several Delhiites, this move is being considered as a welcome change amid the shortage of water they’ve been facing for several months. “People like us are fighting for a single drop of water. If empathy can’t be shared, then at least this fear therapy will work 100%,” feels Vikram Singh, a resident of Dwarka’s Sewak Park, adding, “I have personally encountered several people wasting water like this in the past. I wasn’t able to say anything or stop them from doing this because I didn’t have anything other than a civic responsibility to share. And of course nobody wants bad blood with the neighbour. Back then I could only request, but now I can record a video and post it on social media if they don’t adhere to the request.”

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Some residents feel that not only this announcement is an important step to be taken during the summer months, but should be made mandatory throughout the year and across the country. “This initiative should be launched pan India as all of us know how climate change and water crisis are becoming more prominent issues with every passing day,” opines Kanak Bisaria, a Gurugram-based software engineer, adding, “It’s not just global warming but global boiling! We need more stringent laws to evoke the social responsibility of citizens, using legal changes. In fact, this reminds me of the time when (cricketer) Virat Kohli’s staff was fined for washing his car during a water shortage in Delhi (in 2020). In the current circumstances, we as a society should come together to preserve our resources.”

Echoing similar thoughts, Utkarsh Negi, a social media manager and resident of IP Extension, says, “The challan by jal board should be higher and imposed strictly... If those individuals who come to wash our cars can do this job by using just a bucket of water then why do people need to waste so much for the same chore? In fact, you don’t even need to use an entire bucket if you use it diligently. I too feel that cars should be cleaned, but not at the cost of taking away someone’s drinking water… This challan has been announced now, but in my residential colony we banned this practice at the start of the month itself. So if any resident or their car cleaners were found indulging in water wastage then they were asked to pay a fine of 200 to the society's management.”

What more can be done?

“While citizens must adopt water-saving practices, but responsible departments also need to implement better water management strategies,” says Kashmeera Patel, a research associate with an energy efficiency NGO and resident of Hauz Khas. She shares, “This measure by the jal board is not sufficient. We need to enhance our infrastructure for water recycling, fixing leaks in the distribution system, and ensuring efficient use of water in public spaces. A collaborative effort between the government, responsible agencies, and citizens is essential to secure a sustainable water future for our city.”

After all, “how impactful will it be” to just announce a challan, wonders Mansi Puri, a Saket-based lawyer, adding, “This is one way of saving water and spreading awareness, but there aren’t that many people who clean their cars with hoses or long pipes. So instead of this, remedial action should be taken to provide potable drinking water to residents across the city. Moreover, the residents should be educated on better management of water resources because the long queues we see, of Delhiites in front of water tankers, it makes one wonder  what is exactly causing water scarcity in the city? It can’t be only washing of cars with hose pipe! We need to identify other reasons and work towards a solution collectively.”

For more, follow @htcity.delhijunction

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