The Capital breathed a sigh of relief on Friday after the chief minister of neighbouring Haryana, which supplies half of the city’s water, denied reports that his state was planning to turn off the tap.
But the threat of a water blockade is not over as a tussle between Haryana and Punjab over a canal project could still have a trickle-down effect on Delhi. Earlier in the day, the Punjab assembly passed a resolution that the government will not allow the construction of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal despite the Supreme Court ordering a status quo on the land. Haryana alleged the ground has been levelled so it cannot be used.
Media reports said Haryana’s irrigation minister had written to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, threatening to snap water supply after the Capital’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party supported Punjab in the canal dispute, possibly with an eye on next year’s elections in the state where it hopes to win big.
Kejriwal said there should be no politics over water, weeks after the city was hit by acute shortage when pro-quota protesters damaged another crucial canal.
His Haryana counterpart, Manohar Lal Khattar, described the Punjab assembly resolution as “gross violation” of the top court’s orders.
The BJP, which is in power at the Centre, also rules Haryana and is part of the Punjab government led by the Shiromani Akali Dal.