With decibel levels on the Haryana-Delhi water row on the rise, Haryana chief minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda has written to his Delhi counterpart Sheila Dikshit, asserting that his state was not holding back water share of the national capital and the so-called saving of 80 million gallons per day (MGD) was a "non-existent" issue.
"Delhi often forgets that it got Yamuna water share at Haryana's cost. Instead of Haryana getting credit for sacrificing the interests of its own population, it continues to get discredited due to palpably false propaganda by Delhi," the Haryana CM wrote. "What pains me is that the Delhi government has never bothered to clarify the factual position,'' said Hooda in his June 14 letter.
When asked, Hooda told HT that he had primarily clarified the points raised by the Delhi chief minister in her letter. In a June 8 communication to Hooda, Dikshit had sought 80 MGD additional water which, she said, would come from savings following commissioning of Munak-Haiderpur concrete lined channel (CLC).
The Delhi chief minister had said that after commissioning the CLC, water supplies would be routed through it and the en-route losses would get reduced to 5%, thus making available an additional 80 MGD to Delhi.
The Haryana chief minister said that after examining documents submitted to Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted to look into the dispute over allocation of additional 80 MGD, it becomes evident that Delhi's share at Munak (from Bhakra as well as Yamuna) was 610 cusecs and Haryana had always released more water than this share to Delhi. As a matter of fact, the release of water was much more primarily due to the directions of the Supreme Court, he said.
Responding to a point raised by Dikshit, Hooda further said it was incorrect to say that Delhi's share at Munak was only meant for Haiderpur. "With the construction of CLC, 610 cusecs of water at Munak will result in supply of 580 cusecs at Haiderpur. Since the capacity of Haiderpur is 425 cusecs only, the entire 580 cusecs can't be used for Haiderpur. The balance 150 cusecs will go to Wazirabad,'' Hooda said.
Hooda also wrote that Haryana was meeting its commitment towards Delhi despite non-payment of maintenance charges to the tune of Rs 59 crore by Delhi, outstanding amount of Rs 100 crore on account of construction of CLC, non-payment of share of cost of construction of Hathnikund barrage and non-payment of charges for extra water supplied to Delhi.
Hooda also pointed out that Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has increased the capacity of Wazirabad and other water treatment plants in an unauthorized manner without consulting Haryana or Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB).
"We would have been happy to give more water to Delhi had Haryana been a water-surplus state. Water availability in Haryana is 14 million acre foot (MAF) compared to our requirement of 36 MAF. Most of our blocks are overexploited as far as groundwater is concerned,'' the chief minister wrote.