Capital wasting 300 cusecs of Yamuna water, Haryana tells Delhi high court
The Haryana government Wednesday informed the Delhi high court that Delhi is wasting around 300 cusecs of water due to leakage and pilferage and the amount of wastage would be more if the availability from other sources were added.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anup J Bhambhani were hearing a plea that contended that even though the availability of raw water remained the same or even decreasing, the population of Delhi was increasing every day.
In an affidavit filed before the court, the state of Haryana said that the national capital is “discharging substantial quantity of water to the downstream of Wazirabad causing huge loss of precious water”.
“Despite this, the state of Haryana constantly maintained supply to Delhi…However, in the months of October, November and December, when there is enough water regeneration in river Yamuna, the Delhi Jal Board is discharging a huge quantity of water in the downstream of Wazirabad, which is huge waste of priceless water.”
“…As per the economic survey of Delhi for the year 2017-18, it is categorically mentioned that the loss of treated water due to leakage and pilferage is 30%. That means around 300 cusecs of water supplied by Haryana to Delhi is being wasted by Delhi due to leakage and pilferage,” the affidavit maintained.
On Wednesday, advocate Sumeet Pushkarna, appearing for Delhi Jal Board, informed the court that the Delhi government has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the water dispute following which a meeting of the chief secretaries of two states was to be conducted on Wednesday.
However, opposing this meeting the Haryana government told the court that in wake of an undertaking given by the Delhi government, the dispute between them and Delhi could be solved by the Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB).
According to Haryana, a memorandum of understanding was signed by the Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi in presence of the Minister (Water Resources), government of India in May 12, 1994. The partner states agreed on their share of Yamuna water.
Under this MoU, the states had agreed that the allocation of water among beneficiary states will be regulated by the UYRB within the overall framework of the agreement. Haryana said that the Delhi government has already withdrawn an application filed in the NGT in wake of such an undertaking.
The court after hearing the arguments granted time to DJB to file a rejoinder to the affidavit given by Haryana and listed the matter for April 15.
Earlier, the DJB had filed an application in the Delhi high court alleging that the neighbouring state was not allowing passage of clean water into the Yamuna, making the water meant for the national capital more polluted that would lead to a massive water problem in central Delhi.