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Kejriwal to take oath as Delhi CM, faces hurdle on water, power front

Dec 27, 2013 09:28 PM IST Politics Politics

New Delhi: Even as Aam Aadmi Party National Convener Arvind Kejriwal takes oath as the Delhi Chief Minister on Saturday at Ramlila Maidan, a lot of expectations of the 'aam aadmi' lie on his shoulders.

With a steep hike of 4.50 per kg in CNG price, Kejriwal is already facing a daunting task as his party banks heavily on the support of Delhi's over 1 lakh autos drivers. Auto drivers and 10,000 taxi drivers are threatening to go on strike from January 7 if CNG prices that were raised on Thursday are not rolled back.

Kejriwal has request auto drivers not to go on strike. "I appeal to the auto drivers not to go on strike. I request them to give me two days time. If price hike is unavoidable, then auto fares will have to be hiked " he said.

In addition to tackling the issue of an imminent auto and taxi strike, the Aam Aadmi Party also has to focus on fulfilling the poll promise of free water and massive cut in electricity bills. These two promises are rather impractical to implement, say experts.

Sanjay Sharma, a water consultant who advised the AAP, agrees that ensuring water supply to every household in Delhi is a difficult task. The cost if one uses only 700 litre will be zero, according to the AAP manifesto. He said, "Providing 700 litre everyday is a tough job as there is an inequatable distribution of water. It will take time to arrange equitable water supply."

But experts argue that promised 700 litres is a gross overstimation of demand and they say the consumption is not more than 350 litres per day per household.

Manoj Misra, Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, said, "If I don't need this much water and I get it, then there are chances of black marketing."

The AAP has also promised to cut electricity rates by half.

Umesh Sehgal, former Delhi Chief Secretary, is doubtful that the planned audits of all three power distribution companies will allow for such a drastic cut. Moreover, if the government is able to half the rate that would mean an increase in consumption.

Umesh said, "The consumption of power will go up and if that happens where will power come. Delhi doesn't produce its own power. A large part comes from outside and we have a quota fixed by the Central government. We'll be in same situation as Noida and Gurgaon and have huge power cuts."

Even before Arvind Kejriwal assumes office, the task has been cut out for him. But how well and how soon the AAP is able to fulfill its commitments will measure the gap between promise and performance.