Environmentalists have claimed that only adequate flow of fresh water can redeem the "dead" Yamuna, for which it is imperative to renegotiate the 1994 water sharing agreement between riparian states.
The 1994 memorandum of understanding between riparian states — Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh (and now Uttarakhand too) — was meant for drying up the river of its natural flow for almost nine months a year at Hathni Kund barrage, 200 kms up stream of the national Capital.
In fact, way back in 1996, the Supreme Court had directed to maintain fresh water flow throughout the Yamuna's length. Not just it was not implemented, but there are issues over how much amount constitutes 'fresh' water too.
"The Supreme Court had first decided 10 cusecs water was required based on a Central Water Commission (CWC) report.
However, later the CWC confessed it was an ad-hoc figure. Nobody knows exactly how much fresh water is needed," said Himanshu Thakkar of South Asia Network of Dams River and People (SANDRP).