The DJB has been supplying 945 MGD of water to city residents this summer against the demand of 1,150 MGD
The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking directions to Haryana to release the National Capital’s “legitimate share” of water.
This as the Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar-led state government said the water shortage is a result of, among other reasons, a delay in monsoons.
What did the Delhi government say?
DJB vice-chairman Raghav Chadha accused the neighbouring state of withholding the city’s share of 120 million gallons of water a day.
Chadha said there has been a dip in the levels at the Wazirabad pond and a drop in operational capacity at Chandrawal, Wazirabad and Okhla water treatment plants (WTP) due to Haryana allegedly withholding share of water for Delhi.
“Raw water discharge thru Yamuna by Haryana is at an all-time low. Even one foot decline can cause havoc in the city but currently pond level has fallen from 674.5 feet to 667 feet,” he said, attaching pictures of reduced water levels at the Wazirabad pond. “There is zero cusec release of raw water in Yamuna from Haryana,” he said.
जहां कभी यमुना नदी बहती थी आज वहां सूखा पड़ा है। ये सब हुआ क्योंकि हरियाणा की खट्टर सरकार ने दिल्ली का 120 MGD पानी रोका हुआ है। 1965 के बाद से आजतक कभी ऐसे हालात उत्पन्न नहीं हुए।
मेरा खट्टर साहब से हाथ जोड़कर निवेदन है दिल्ली की जनता से ऐसा अमानवीय व्यवहार न करें। pic.twitter.com/AMhZ1OWRKH
— Raghav Chadha (@raghav_chadha) July 12, 2021
AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj too attacked the Haryana government for “repeatedly stalling Delhi’s water”.
“Nearly 10 percent of total water consumption is not being released, which means around 20 lakh people across the city are not getting enough potable water,” said Bharadwaj in a statement.
He further added the water connection of the Delhi BJP chief’s house will be stopped, if Delhi does not get its “rightful portion” of water.
How did the Haryana government respond?
Less water in the Yamuna river due to delay in the arrival of the monsoon and the AAP dispensation’s mismanagement has led to water shortage in the National Capital, claimed the Haryana government. In a statement, Haryana government accused the AAP dispensation in Delhi of indulging in a “false political rhetoric to hide its failure”.
The Manohar Lal Khattar-led government also said the water supply to Delhi is being maintained even though Haryana is facing scarcity, with 40 percent less water in the Yamuna river. “Haryana is continuously providing 1,049 cusecs of water at Munak through its canal system to Delhi the quantity of which is 950 cusecs of water at Bawana contact point,” it said.
The government also quoted the Delhi’s government’s 2017 Economic Survey to state that 20 percent of the drinking water in the National Capital is “wasted due to mismanagement”.
Where does the water shortage issue stand in Delhi?
Delhi has a share of 719 cusecs of water at Munak from Yamuna and Ravi Beas waters. Additionally, 330 cusecs extra Yamuna water is being released by Haryana at Munak, as per compliance of Supreme Court orders on 29 February, 1996.
According to Chadha, the Chandrawal WTP has been operating at 55 MGD (million gallons a day) capacity against the normal of 90 MGD. Similarly, Wazirabad WTP and Okhla have been operating at 80 MGD and 12 MGD capacity against the normal of 135 MGD and 20 MGD, respectively.
The DJB has been supplying 945 MGD of water to city residents this summer against the demand of 1,150 MGD. At present, Delhi has been receiving 479 MGD against 609 MGD from Haryana. Besides, Delhi draws 90 MGD groundwater and receives 250 MGD from the Upper Ganga Canal.
“Delhi receives Yamuna water coming from Haryana at three places – CLC channel, DSB channel, and the Wazirabad pond. There has been a heavy reduction in water received at the CLC and the DSB channels while the Wazirabad pond has not received the supply,” added Chadha.
Chadha said the deficient supply might lead to scarcity in areas under the New Delhi Municipal Council as well as areas such as the prime pinister’s residence, Supreme Court, high court and ministries. Parts of Central, West, and South Delhi will be affected too.
History of Haryana and Delhi tussle over water in court
Back in December 2018, the Supreme Court had dismissed a Delhi government plea seeking direction to Haryana for releasing the Yamuna water to the National Capital. The Bench had asked, “Why should we pass only Delhi centric orders?”
In May that year, the apex court slammed the Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB) for not managing the distribution of river water among beneficiary states.
In March 2019, the Delhi High Court, while hearing a plea that Delhi’s water supply was the same or decreasing as population grew, was told by the Haryana government that 300 cusecs of water was being wasted due to leakage and pilferage. The idea of conducting a dispute resolution meeting between chief secretaries of the two states was rejected by the Haryana government, which said the UYRB could remedy the issue.
In the next hearing, the Haryana government said the Delhi HC cannot decide in the matter, the jurisdiction of which lies with the UYRB. It also objected to the findings of a court-appointed committee, which was set up to inspect whether ‘bunds’ have been put in the canals carrying water meant for Delhi. The committee had reported large scale mining on the river bed of Yamuna.
By February 2021, the Haryana government told the Supreme Court that the DJB was making false claims about high ammonia level in Yamuna water to seek a much larger quantity than its allocated share. The Bench was told that DJB wasted around 35-50 percent of water and its claims about high ammonia level, examined by the Central Pollution Control Board and the Upper Yamuna River Board, were found to be false.
A few months later, the DJB also filed a plea against the Haryana government in the Supreme Court claiming that an “unimaginable level of ammonia” was present in water supplied to Delhi. Chadha had said then that while Delhi water treatment plants are equipped to treat water up to 1 PPM ammonia, the untreated water coming from Haryana has ammonia levels of 7.36 PPM.
What was the water-sharing agreement between northern states?
- A memorandum of understanding was signed by the Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi in presence of the Minister (Water Resources), government of India in 12 May, 1994. The partner states agreed on their share of Yamuna water.
- Under this MoU, the states had agreed that the allocation of water among beneficiary states will be regulated by the UYRB within the overall framework of the agreement.
With inputs from PTI
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