The Haryana government on Friday carried out its threat — given last week as reported by Hindustan Times — to cut Delhi’s share of water by almost 60 per cent.
Delhi Jal Board (DJB) officials said Haryana's action will result in an acute water crisis in almost two thirds of the city this weekend. “They have reduced supply by over 40 MGD. This will result in production going down by almost 60 per cent in Haiderpur, Chandrawal and Wazirabad water treatment plants (WTP),” said Arun Mathur, DJB chief executive officer.
Mathur termed Haryana's action to cut supply as completely illegal. “If Haryana curtails Delhi's share of water it would be contempt of Supreme Court order. The apex court in 1994 had categorically directed Haryana to release whatever quantum of water that is required by the DJB to keep Haiderpur and Wazirabad water treatment plants (WTP) functioning to its optimum level.”
Senior DJB officials said that even as the pond level of Western Yamuna Canal (WYC) continued to be one foot below the permissible level, Harayana reduced supply to Delhi by another 70 cusecs on Friday evening. “As of now the production at Haiderpur water treatment plant (WTP) was already down by 20 per cent,” said the official.
The areas, which will take a hit on account of this, include Gole Market, Sarojini Nagar, RK Puram, Dhaula Kuan, INA, Janpath, North Avenue, Aurangzen Road, Karol Bagh, Civil Lines, Model Town, Kingsway Camp and large parts of Walled City, Janakpuri, Shalimar Bagh, Rohini, Pitampura, Paschim Vihar and outer Delhi areas.
On May 9, RN Parashar, Financial Commissioner, Haryana Irrigation department, had threatened that unless the DJB clears its dues to the tune of Rs 70 crore accrued towards operation and maintenance of its canals to Haryana since 1996, the state will curtail extra supply of Yamuna water to Delhi.
The DJB on its part had refuted the allegations. “We don’t owe any money to Haryana. All our dues have been cleared. The Haryana government's action is completely unjustified and is motivated by political compulsions. The city residents drinking water needs can’t be put at the mercy of threats carried out by neighboring states,” said a DJB official.