Delhi ministers write to PM Modi seeking intervention to resolve water crisis | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Delhi ministers write to PM Modi seeking intervention to resolve water crisis

Jun 24, 2024 02:08 PM IST

The Delhi ministers have also sought a joint inspection of the Wazirabad and Munak canals with lieutenant governor VK Saxena to ascertain the factual position on quantum of water being released by Haryana

The Delhi Cabinet ministers have written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to resolve the water supply shortfall in the national Capital on a priority basis. Addressing a press conference along with his Cabinet colleagues, environment minister Gopal Rai on Monday said that the ministers have also sought a joint inspection of the Wazirabad and Munak canals with lieutenant governor (LG) VK Saxena to ascertain the factual position on quantum of water being released by Haryana.

Delhi water minister and AAP leader Atishi with party leaders during her indefinite hunger strike over the ongoing water crisis in the national Capital on Sunday. (PTI)
Delhi water minister and AAP leader Atishi with party leaders during her indefinite hunger strike over the ongoing water crisis in the national Capital on Sunday. (PTI)

The ministers, including Saurabh Bharadwaj, Imran Hussain and Kailash Gahlot, held a meeting at Jangpura’s Bhogal, where water minister Atishi is sitting on a hunger strike over the water issue. They said Atishi’s indefinite fast has entered the fourth day and her health is deteriorating.

“Delhi is facing intense heatwave, and it should have received more allocation of water. But on the other hand, the city is getting 100 MGD (million gallon per day) lesser water....We also invite Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena and all officers to Wazirabad, Bawana to see the readings of flow metres and see the water levels of the river there. Data is available for the water released by Haryana and they can see for themselves how the water has reduced,” Rai said.

Rai said that Delhi faces a shortfall of around 100 MGD and the government has explored all legal and administrative options but no solution has been found. “Prime Minister should now intervene in the matter. Why is Delhi getting the same allocation as 30 years back even though our population has tripled. Today, all Delhi cabinet ministers have written to PM seeking his intervention. Monsoon is about to arrive and all floodgates are opened when there is excess water but our rightful share is not being provided to us when there is a shortfall,” he added.

Rai said that LG Saxena keeps insisting that Haryana is releasing adequate water for Delhi but the reports regarding the status of Wazirabad and Munak canals are completely contradictory. “We have appealed to LG Saxena to jointly inspect the Wazirabad water treatment plant with us on Tuesday. All ministers and officers will go with him. We can check the flowcharts to ascertain how much water is being received. We will also inspect the flow meters of Munak canal,” he added. Asserting that Delhi should get its due share of water, Rai announced that a candlelight march will be carried out in the evening in support of Atishi’s indefinite fast.

Meanwhile, the water supply quantum in the Capital has marginally improved over the last three days after hitting the season’s lowest point at 888 MGD on Friday. The summer bulletin issued by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) says that the supply level rose to 896 MGD on Saturday and 906 MGD on Sunday.

The water supply level according to the Monday bulletin was 913 MGD against the peak summer production target of 1,000 MGD. DJB’s water treatment plants at Wazirabad, Chandrawal and Bawana are operating below their capacity. DJB has said that the lower water supply can be attributed to shortage of raw water. The water utility received around 500 zero water complaints on its helplines.

In a recorded video message, Atishi said, “Delhi does not have its own water, all the water here comes from neighbouring states. But for the last three weeks, Haryana has reduced sending water to Delhi. The Haryana government has been giving 100 MGD less water to Delhi for the last three weeks.”

She said: “The doctors have told me that my blood pressure is decreasing, my sugar level is decreasing, and my weight is decreasing. No matter how bad my health is, no matter how much pain my body is in, my resolve to hunger strike is strong and until 28 lakh Delhiites do not get water, my indefinite hunger strike will continue,” she added.

Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Virendra Sachdeva said that the hunger strike by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader for water was a drama. “It is extremely shameful that cases of deaths due to heatwave are continuously increasing in Delhi, and instead of taking measures to prevent them, the government is engrossed in the drama of air-conditioned Satyagraha,” he said.

Sachdeva said that the minister has a duty to try to alleviate the water crisis in Delhi, fix the leakages, but she is trying to evade it. “Saurabh Bhardwaj, (AAP Rajya Sabha MP) Sanjay Singh, or Atishi, all are accusing the Haryana government of not supplying water, while the Haryana government and their officials have proven with several pieces of evidence that they are supplying more water to Delhi than the stipulated amount,” he said.

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