Foreign missions’ water woes affecting India’s image globally: L-G

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Saxena directs Chief Secretary to immediately address concerns raised by Montenegro’s Consulate

Saxena directs Chief Secretary to immediately address concerns raised by Montenegro’s Consulate

Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena on Friday directed the Chief Secretary to immediately address the water supply issues being faced by the Consulate of Montenegro.

Taking to Twitter with a complaint received from the Consulate General’s office, flagging disruption in water supply as well as “low pressure and dirty water” issues, Mr. Saxena sought to “advise” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to promptly address such problems, which “affect India’s image globally”.

Janice Darbari, the Honorary Consul General for the Republic of Montenegro, stated in her complaint to the L-G’s office that the Mission had not been receiving water supply for two days. The issue, according to Dr. Darbari’s complaint, had also been flagged to the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), which assured the Mission of making water tankers available but allegedly did not do so.

“The water supply is low pressure and dirty. Kindly resolve the matter as it disrupts the working of the diplomatic Mission in India,” the complaint stated.

The DJB, however, has refuted any disruption in water supply in Greater Kailash-I where the Consulate is located. The utility, as quoted by agencies, said that a junior engineer in the area received a call from the Consulate on August 4. “The caller requested water through a tanker. The same was delivered on Friday morning.”

Sewage problems

Sources said the L-G has asked Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar to look into all the concerns raised by the members of the diplomatic corps.

“The L-G also flagged recurrent problems of sewage management at various diplomatic missions in the Capital and asked the Chief Secretary to immediately address the issues. He has also flagged these concerns to the CM,” a source said.

“Receiving recurrent complaints and requests in this regard from various Missions and Residencies outside the Diplomatic Enclave, the L-G has underlined that apart from inconveniencing the foreign representatives, these issues also tarnish India’s international image,” the source added.

Cabinet notes’ delay

In a related development, Mr. Saxena also wrote to the Chief Secretary to ensure that a copy of memoranda, proposals and Cabinet notes to be considered by the Delhi Council of Ministers is made available to the L-G’s office in time.

According to sources, Mr. Saxena said these should be made available “at least two days” before they are scheduled to be tabled.

“There are many instances where such proposals/notes are placed before the Cabinet directly and a copy of the same is not provided to L-G Secretariat at all,” the L-G was quoted as having written in a note sent to the Chief Secretary as well as the Chief Minister.

Pointing out that the period of two days can be curtailed by the Chief Minister “in case of urgency”, the note from L-G Secretariat, sources said, also underlined that this was not honoured in many instances.

Of the 234 proposals considered by the Cabinet from April 2020 to July 15 this year, the note stated, 79 proposals were received by the L-G Secretariat a day before the scheduled meeting of the Cabinet, 63 on the day of the meeting and 40 were received after the Cabinet meeting was held.

“It is clear that the compliance of the Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR) in this matter happened only in 22% of the cases, while in 78% instances, the ToBR was violated without any justification,” the L-G’s note stated.

Responding to the L-G’s communique to the Chief Secretary regarding the Cabinet notes, a Delhi government source said, “The L-G is acting like a primary school headmaster. He is always fighting, finding petty faults. We do not wish to fight with him. The government wishes to concentrate on public welfare.”

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