Former Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Statistic and Implementation and former Delhi BJP President Vijay Goel on June 19, 2021 shared a picture on Twitter of people gathered in large numbers around a water tanker and represented it as a proof of a water crises in Delhi under the Arvind Kejriwal-led government.
With the photo, he tweeted, "Dilli mein paani ka haal, kuch karo bhaiya Kejriwal (This is the state of water crisis in Delhi, do something brother Kejriwal)."
Goel tweeted the same picture again a day later on June 20. " Kya tanker ki photo se zyada Dilli mein paani ka pura haal hai aur ganda paani aa raha hai? Apna jawab haan y ana mein den. Ilake ka naam bhi likhen (Is the state of water crisis in Delhi worse than the photo of the water tanker and is Delhi getting dirty water? Answer in yes or no. Also mention the name of the area)."
FactChecker found that the claim is false. When we reverse searched the image, we found a link on stock photography agency Alamy, which showed that the image was taken in 2009. Delhi Chef Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched Aam Aadmi Party in 2012 that subsequently won the 2015 Delhi legislative assembly elections. When this water crisis, as shared by Goel took place, Delhi was under Congress, with Sheila Dixit as Chief Minister.
The image's caption showed that it was taken by Reuters in 2009. "Residents of Sanjay Colony, a residential neighbourhood, crowd around a water tanker provided by the state-run Delhi Jal Board to fill their containers in New Delhi June 30, 2009. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has given directives to tackle the burgeoning water crisis," read the caption. The local media had reported that this crisis was caused by uneven distribution of water in the city.
By the time this article was published, Goel's June 19 tweet had been retweeted almost 1,600 times and had garnered 5,845 likes and the June 20 post had received more than 30 retweets and 186 likes.
Aam Aadmi Party responded to Goel's claim and attached a screenshot of the page from Alamy. AAP tweeted, "Vijay Goel Ji, Are you nostalgic that you're sharing photos from 2009, or was it a deliberate attempt to defame Kejriwal Govt?"
Delhi Jal Board (DJB) also clarified that the image was 12 years old. The board tweeted from its official handle, "The image posted is from the year 2009. Entire DJB team has worked very hard even during the raging pandemic." DJB also attached the same Alamy link FactChecker found.
Factchecker called up Goel's office for a comment, but the call was answered by one Jaspreet Singh, who said Goel was busy in a meeting and could not talk.
Water crisis is a disputed subject in Delhi. Be it which year it happened in or which area. BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra had tweeted on June 12 photos of an ABP news report saying, "Jo Kejriwal kehte hain ki vo ghar ghar ration pahunchana chahte hain aur kendra sarkar unhen rok rahi hai, kya vo is baat ka jawab denge ki ghar ghar paani pahunchane se unhen kaun rok raha hai? (The Kejriwal who says Centre is stopping him from providing door-to-door ration to people, who is stopping him from supplying water to every house?"
This brought up a constituency matter. AAP Spokesperson Raghav Chadha replied to Patra's tweet saying, "Please put this question to Union Home Minister as the concerned area falls under jurisdiction of NDMC (i.e. MHA, Union Govt) and not DJB."
Water shortage in the Capital has been a serious matter for years now. Lt Governor Anil Baijal has weighed in on the matter and recently sought a detailed status report from the DJB on the crisis.