Delhi government to hire a law firm to expedite “Jal Board” projects

Under the leadership of Water Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj, the DJB has mandated the engagement of different expert law firms for all new projects with a budget exceeding Rs 10 crores.

NEW DELHI | Updated: 29 June, 2023 6:25 pm IST

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government is working to connect unauthorized colonies and villages to sewer networks, aiming to provide clean and abundant water to every household in Delhi and to clean the Yamuna river.

According to government records, the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has undertaken over 1500 projects, many of which have a cost exceeding Rs 10 crore. To ensure timely completion of these projects, the Delhi government has decided to engage various expert law firms with the DJB.

Under the leadership of Water Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj, the DJB has mandated the engagement of different expert law firms for all new projects with a budget exceeding Rs 10 crores.

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These law firms will be responsible for ensuring legal compliance, communication, and contract agreements related to the projects. While the DJB will take immediate action in case of any agreement violations by the company, the law firms will ensure that the projects, aimed at benefiting the public, are completed with high quality and in adherence to all laws, ensuring timely benefits for the public.

According to government officials, the DJB is actively working on more than 1500 projects to fulfill its ambitious plan of making the Yamuna pollution-free and providing 24-hour water supply to Delhi. Water Minister and DJB Chairperson Saurabh Bhardwaj personally reviews all the projects on a weekly basis.

During these reviews, it was observed that deviations from the legal agreements were present in many projects of public interest. It was also discovered that several projects were stuck in courts due to various legal and miscellaneous reasons. Unfortunately, these delays in projects related to drinking water and sewage services have inconvenienced the public.

In some instances, it was found that lower-level officials, in collusion with contractors, relaxed the terms and conditions of project completion without informing senior officials, the board, or the Minister. Furthermore, it was identified during the project reviews that DJB officials either neglected the legal work or created loopholes in the agreements, ultimately benefiting the contractors.

As a result, DJB has incurred significant losses in arbitration and legal proceedings. These negligence issues have not only caused financial losses for the government but have also resulted in delays in drinking water and sewage projects, causing inconvenience to the public.

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Water Minister Bhardwaj has announced that law firms will now be compulsory for all new DJB projects with a budget exceeding Rs 10 crore to address the issues that have surfaced during project review meetings.

These law firms will handle all legal aspects related to the projects, ensuring prompt action by DJB in case of agreement violations and timely completion and delivery of services to the public. This initiative will enhance the efficiency of the Delhi Jal Board in the long run.

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