Delhi writes to Haryana, UP for more water | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Delhi writes to Haryana, UP for more water

Jun 03, 2024 06:08 AM IST

Delhi Water Minister Atishi requests Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to release additional water to the Capital due to a severe water crisis.

Delhi water minister Atishi has written to Haryana chief minister Nayab Singh Saini and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, requesting their governments to release additional water to the Capital for one month — till the monsoon arrives — officials aware of the matter said on Sunday.

Delhi minister Atishi (HT Photo)
Delhi minister Atishi (HT Photo)

Delhi depends on neighbouring states to meet 86.5% of its drinking water demand — through the Yamuna, the carrier lined channel (CLC) Munak, and the Delhi sub-branch (DSB) canals from Haryana, and through the Upper Ganga Canal via Muradnagar from Uttar Pradesh.

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has targeted supplying 1,000 million gallons per day (mgd) of water to the Capital this summer, but the city has an estimated demand 1,290 mgd water, according to the Delhi economic survey 2023-24 tabled in March this year.

Over the past week, the amount of water that DJB supplied had dipped due to a drop in the Yamuna’s levels, falling to a low of 966.16 mgd on May 27. Since then, there has been an uptick in the amount of water the utility supplies to the Capital, rising to 998.91 mgd on Saturday, but officials said that the prevailing heatwave-like conditions has led to a high demand in the city.

Atishi, in a letter addressed to Saini dated May 31, said that Delhi is facing one of its worst water crises in recent years, and unlike in the past, the demand for water has this year gone up manifold.

“With temperature touching almost 50 degrees, Delhi is stretched out to the maximum as far water resources are concerned. In order to tackle the existing crisis, we urgently need Haryana to release additional water into Yamuna river,” the letter said.

Atishi added that the water level at the Wazirabad barrage — which acts as a primary holding area for raw water coming via the river channel from Haryana — is lower than the normal level of 674.5 ft, which has adversely impacted the production capacity of water treatment plants, resulting in shortages in various parts of Delhi.

“In order to cater to demands of people living in Delhi, we urgently need water in Yamuna....water is a commodity which is essential for existence of all human beings,” the letter added.

In her letter to Adityanath May 31, Atishi said that the Delhi government is trying its best to increase the production capacity of water treatment plants. “However, the intensity of heatwave is such that we would require help from all quarters... As a neighboring state, we request Uttar Pradesh to lend a helping hand to Delhi in this time of crisis and release additional water for next month,” she wrote, adding that the “ancient texts teach us that giving water to thirsty is a noble act”.

HT has seen copies of both letters.

Responding to the letters, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused the Delhi government of failing to address problems related to silt and leaks.

“Delhi’s water crisis is due to two reasons — the water is either lost in leakages or in theft, and secondly, the Wazirabad barrage and Sonia Vihar (water treatment) plant are both filled with silt, with water retention capacity going down,” Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva said.

Meanwhile, Haryana chief minister Nayab Singh Saini on Sunday rejected the Delhi government’s charge that his state was not supplying Delhi’s share of water, asserting his dispensation is releasing water to the city over and above the agreed-upon quantity, PTI reported.

“(Arvind) Kejriwal is misleading people...to hide their own shortcomings. We are giving water to Delhi over and above the agreed-upon quantity,” Saini said.

Complaints continue unabated

Despite the relative improvement in the amount of water supplied by DJB, complaints of water shortage continued to be reported from various parts of the city on Sunday.

Gaurav Birla, a resident of Mohan Garden in west Delhi, said there has been no supply of water to his locality on Saturday and Sunday. “We are not being told what is the expected time of water supply. People are suffering because of no water availability,” he said.

Pradeep Kumar Sharma, a resident of Upkar Colony in Burari, said his neighbourhood has not received any water since Friday. “I have filed 11 complaints, but nothing has been done to resume the water supply,” he said.

Shortages in supply and low pressure were also reported from areas such as parts of Sadar Bazar, Sangam Vihar, Jaitpur Extension, Prince Colony, and Chhatarpur A Block, among others.

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