Drop in Delhi water level, AAP alleges BJP plot | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Drop in Delhi water level, AAP alleges BJP plot

May 23, 2024 05:36 AM IST

According to DJB, the water utility supplied only 981.89 mgd of water against the normal supply of 1000 mgd.

The Capital on Wednesday continued to reel under water shortage even as the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government claimed the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Haryana government for “deliberately restricting water supply to Delhi as part of its conspiracy” — an allegation refuted in its entirety saying that the state has been supplying “enough water to Delhi according to the agreement”.

The Wazirabad Barrage is located on the Yamuna in north Delhi and it forms the primary holding area (Wazirabad pond) where raw water is lifted for the Wazirabad and Chandrawal treatment plants. (HT File)
The Wazirabad Barrage is located on the Yamuna in north Delhi and it forms the primary holding area (Wazirabad pond) where raw water is lifted for the Wazirabad and Chandrawal treatment plants. (HT File)

According to the summer bulletin issued by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), the water utility supplied only 981.89 million gallons per day (mgd) of water against the normal supply of 1000mgd — around 18.11mgd less than normal levels. Delhi water minister Atishi said that the government might file an urgent application in the court to seek relief.

Atishi alleged that since May 11, Haryana has reduced the water flow, causing the Yamuna’s level to drop to 670.9 feet instead of the required 674 feet. “DJB is ramping up tanker supplies and extending borewell operation times. I am writing a letter to the Haryana government, and if needed then prepared to take legal intervention,” the minister added.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Atishi called the issue a conspiracy against the Delhi government ahead of the Lok Sabha polling, adding that this was an “artificial crisis” created by the BJP. “The Haryana government is deliberately restricting water supply to Delhi to incite panic among residents ahead of May 25. BJP is attempting to tarnish the AAP’s reputation after foreseeing a loss on all seven seats in Delhi,” she added.

The Haryana government refuted these claims and said the AAP government was trying to hide its “failures” and giving a “political colour to the issue” by levelling false allegations. “Haryana has been supplying sufficient water it owes Delhi as per the agreements. The AAP government is trying to hide its failures... Delhi has been continuously getting sufficient Yamuna water for domestic use from Haryana which can be consumed and preserved in the water reservoirs and treatment plants at Wazirabad and Haiderpur,” said Abhe Singh Yadav, Haryana minister for irrigation and water resources.

Crisis may worsen

According to a senior DJB official, the targeted daily water supply level according to the summer action plan is 1000mgd and water supply was short of around 10 to 20mgd over the last three days. “The water levels in the Yamuna are continuously depleting and if the situation persists, the crisis in the city may worsen,” the official said, requesting anonymity.

The Wazirabad Barrage is located on the Yamuna in north Delhi and it forms the primary holding area (Wazirabad pond) where raw water is lifted for the Wazirabad and Chandrawal treatment plants.

If the water levels continue to dwindle, it will impact the supply in areas fed by these plants in north, central and parts of south Delhi — including Kamla Nagar, Karol Bagh, Paharganj, New Rajinder Nagar, Baljeet Nagar, Govindpuri, Tugalkabad, Punjabi Bagh and Moolchand.

DJB on Wednesday recorded 817 water-related complaints out of which 597 were related to zero supply and 156 related to contaminated water.

Ashok Bhasin, president of the North Delhi Residents Welfare Association, said that over the last three years, similar water crises have prevailed in areas supplied by Wazirabad plant. “Our Malkaganj to Timarpur belt is affected. Every year we witness this blame game between Delhi and Haryana and permanent solution must be found,” he added.

Atishi said that for the last few days, Delhi has been receiving complaints regarding supply shortages from areas that previously did not face such a crisis.

The normal level of the Yamuna is 674.5 feet and the level recorded at Wazirabad was 670.9 feet on May 21; 671.1 feet between May 17 and May 21; 671.3 feet on May 16 and 671.9 feet on May 14 and 15. According to DJB, the Wazirabad barrage, after 1965 recorded, its lowest ever level at 667 feet on July 16, 2021.

The Wazirabad barrage was built in 1959 on the Yamuna and it forms the primary holding area from where raw water is lifted to the Wazirabad and Chandrawal treatment plants. DJB operates seven other WTPs across the city. The water supply problem, DJB officials said, is presently restricted to the Wazirabad WTP. However, if the crisis continues, WTPs at Chandrawal and Okhla may be hit next, a DJB official said.

An official of the Haryana government’s irrigation and water resources department said that the Delhi government’s allegations lacked ground realities. “Haryana shall never abet the agony of the people by stooping to such levels,” Satbir Singh Kadian, engineer-in-chief and CEO of State Water Resources Authority, said.

“Haryana has fresh water deficit to the tune of 41.17% and needs Haryana residents must also be given attention while making such remarks (against Haryana).” He added that DJB has massive transmission losses, adding that Haryana has daily basis data to prove that Delhi is getting a sufficient supply of water as per the water-sharing agreements.

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