Atishi to go on indefinite strike for additional water to Delhi, seeks PM Modi’s intervention | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times

Atishi to go on indefinite strike for additional water to Delhi, seeks PM Modi’s intervention

Jun 20, 2024 04:59 AM IST

On Wednesday, Delhi’s water supply plunged to 909 million gallons a day (mgd), leaving a 91mgd shortfall from the targeted summer supply.

Delhi water minister Atishi on Wednesday said she has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking help alleviate Delhi’s water problems and said she will go on an indefinite “jal satyagraha” from Friday if additional water was not provided to the national capital to meet rising demand during the ongoing intense heatwave.

Locals await government water tankers in Chanakyapuri. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
Locals await government water tankers in Chanakyapuri. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)

Delhi water crisis: Atishi threatens indefinite fast, seeks PM Modi’s intervention

Alleging that Haryana refused to provide proper water share, she said she had written to the PM on the issue. However, the chief of the Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Virendra Sachdeva, blamed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi for its management, saying it has “no right” to seek the PM’s help.

“We have tried all possible steps by requesting Haryana government, petitioning the Supreme Court and seeking intervention of union Jal Shakti minister. The suffering of people of Delhi has crossed all limits. If Delhi’s rightful share of water is not provided in next two days, I will start a satyagraha for water. I will start an indefinite fast till Delhi gets its water,” the water minister said in a press conference.

On Wednesday, Delhi’s water supply plunged to 909 million gallons a day (mgd), leaving a 91mgd shortfall from the targeted summer supply, according to a Delhi Jal Board (DJB) report.

Atishi said Delhi was facing an unprecedented heatwave due to which water demand has gone up beyond estimates. She said that while Delhi gets 1,050mgd for 30 million people, Haryana gets 6,500mgd for the same population. “If Haryana provides 100mgd water, it amounts to just 1.5% of water available with them,” she added.

Over the past fortnight, Delhi has been facing water supply shortfall, which has been primarily attributed to raw water shortage, as it is dependent on its neighbouring states to meet 86.5% of its raw water needs.

Atishi, alleging Haryana did not provide its share in one instance, said: “On June 18, Haryana only released 513mgd of water against 613mgd, leading to 100mgd shortfall. It impacts around 2.8 million people in Delhi. Our MLAs went to meet the Haryana Jal Shakti minister CR Patil, but he did not meet them. We have tried all possible administrative and legal steps.”

Of the 1,050mgd water supply Delhi receives from neighbouring states, 613mgd comes from Haryana.

Haryana has maintained that adequate water was being released, as per the water-sharing agreement with Delhi. On multiple occasions, Haryana chief minister Nayab Saini said that before blaming his state, the Delhi government should first improve its distribution system. “We are giving water to them as per the agreement before the court. But the Delhi leaders are misleading people for political gains. They did not take concrete steps in the last 10 years to face this problem. They have failed in management and distribution of water in their state,” he said on Saturday.

Delhi BJP president Sachdeva said that every state government affected by natural calamity could seek the PM’s help, but not one which pushed its state into trouble due to “its incompetence and corruption”.

“Not only Delhi but all neighbouring states are also suffering from the heat, and while their populations may be smaller, their water requirements for agriculture are very high. The basis of Atishi’s letter is false,” he said.

Water level dips again

The water supply on Wednesday dipped to 909mgd from 916 mgd recorded a day earlier, according to the DJB.

A DJB official, requesting anonymity, said the board received 256 tanker requests and more than 500 zero-water complaints on Wednesday.

The DJB said production is currently impacted at five of its nine water treatment plants, at Wazirabad, Chandrawal, Dwarka, Bawana and Haiderpur. The shortfall has led to supply shortages, especially in tail-end areas, leaving unplanned settlements dependent on tankers and rationing, and planned areas on low-pressure supply. Over the past couple of days, the shortages have also started to impact areas in Lutyens Delhi.

Shiva Sharma, a resident of Uttam Nagar said that a part of the area barely received water supply over the past week. “The 1916 helpline number of DJB was non-responsive. We are only getting water supply for just 5-10 minutes. The water supply period should be restored to at least one hour,” he said.

Delhi minister Atishi asks police to guard water pipelines

Abhishek Kumar, a resident of Mahavir Enclave Part 1, said: “There has been no water supply here for the past three days. Even the little water we receive smells terrible. Despite registering several complaints, no action has been taken. This is causing significant trouble to our daily lives.”

Surendra Singh Rana, a resident of Chhatarpur Extension, said that the residents of Block-B have not received water since Monday. “We are facing a serious issue of water shortage. Even the local DJB officials of the area not responding to our calls,” he said.

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