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L-G, CM Kejriwal trade blame as Delhi faces water crisis

While Kejriwal alleged that the L-G didn’t respond to his repeated appeals to solve the water crisis, Anil Baijal hit back, saying the chief minister should have discussed it with him earlier.

delhi Updated: May 18, 2018 23:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi water crisis,Arvind Kejriwal,Anil Baijal
A war of words has erupted between L-G Anil Baijal and CM Arvind Kejriwal over the impending water crisis. (Raj K Raj/HT file)

A fresh war of words broke out between Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday over the impending water crisis in the city.

While chief minister Kejriwal alleged that the L-G didn’t respond to his repeated appeals to solve the water crisis, L-G Anil Baijal hit back, saying that given the importance of the matter, the chief minister should have discussed it with him earlier rather than spending time on ‘dharnas without reason’.

Kejriwal on Friday also wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which he expressed apprehension that the water crisis could affect more than a million people and requested him to persuade the Haryana government not to curtail supply.

Meanwhile, Baijal stated that he had already taken up the matter with the Centre and the Haryana government.

The CM said that he had sent a note to the L-G on May 16, urging Baijal to persuade the Central government and Haryana government that water supply should not be reduced. Kejriwal claimed to have sent a second letter to the L-G on May 17 and a message on the L-G’s mobile on Thursday night.

In response to the CM’s allegations, Baijal shot a letter to Kejriwal on Friday stating, “Given the importance and complexity of the subject, you could have met and discussed with me earlier along with officers of the Delhi Jal Board, rather than spending time on ‘dharnas without reason’ and now sending frantic letters and messages when the matter has escalated to a critical stage.”

A water crisis looms over the city from Tuesday, affecting VIP areas, railways stations and hospitals in NDMC areas, the Delhi government has stated. The impending crisis had prompted the CM to send letters to the L-G, Prime Minister and the chief minister of Haryana

“The manner in which all the letters sent by you (Kejriwal) are released on social media even before reaching my office, betrays an attempt to sensationalize the issue rather than seriously resolve it,” L-G wrote his letter to the CM.

Criticising the government for moving the Supreme Court, the L-G also stated that attempts should have been made to resolve the water crisis first through mutual negotiation and dialogue, rather than through confrontation. It was the Delhi Jal Board which moved the Apex court against Haryana government.

Kejriwal is his letters to the L-G, the Prime Minister and CM of Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar has stated that Delhi has been receiving 1,133 cusecs of water from Haryana since 1996.

However, recently for the first time, Haryana has contested Delhi’s claim that has led to a legal battle between the two neighbouring states.

First Published: May 18, 2018 23:48 IST