Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken on Monday alleged, “the water scam in Delhi runs into Rs 1000 crore as people are being forced to buy the product from mafia.”

He claimed the same water could have easily been supplied by Delhi Jal Board though its pipelines for all to quench their thirst, but “the hold of the tanker mafia is so vicious that people are forced to buy” from it.

Speaking at “jal satyagraha” at Prem Nagar, Baba Faridpuri, in Patel Nagar Assembly constituency on Monday, Maken said, “poor people across Delhi are struggling to get a bucket of water for their consumption as the drinking water and tanker mafia control water supply. A large number of women carrying empty earthen pots, which they broke, also participated in the “satyagraha”.

Maken said jal satyagraha, which started on 1 June, will continue till the end of the month to make AAP government open its eyes to the prevailing severe scarcity of drinking water across the Capital. Monday’s satyagraha” was the fourth in the series, he stated.

Claiming that people had to travel long distances carrying heavy containers to fill water from tankers, Maken remarked, “tankers may come only once in a week or 10 days but if Rs 500 bribe is given then they arrive early.”

“If water is to be given to people, then why not through water pipes, instead of putting them at the mercy of the drinking water and tanker mafia,” he asked.

“When the Congress was in power, the GPS system was introduced to monitor the movement of tankers and also to ensure that stealing of water did not take place, but AAP Government removed the GPS system from tankers to give a free hand to mafia,” he added.