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Sonia Vihar may go thirsty for 5 more yrs

EVEN AS UP and Delhi are in rough and tumble over the water issue, the Rs 800-crore Sonia Vihar Treatment Plant in the national capital may live with parched throat for another five years.

india Updated: Mar 03, 2006 01:22 IST

EVEN AS UP and Delhi are in rough and tumble over the water issue, the Rs 800-crore Sonia Vihar Treatment Plant in the national capital may live with parched throat for another five years.

Irrigation Department officials here said they would be in a position to release 300 cusec water to Delhi only in the year 2010-11, when the Tehri Dam is commissioned and UP gets the 7,000 cusec water that it requires.

Principal secretary, Irrigation, Amal Kumar Verma said the water distribution plan between UP and Delhi had gone haywire due to a delay in the Tehri Dam project.

“The required water is not being released to UP. How can we release water to Delhi, overlooking the interest of our farmers?” he said. “According to an agreement, the Tehri Dam Authority was supposed to release 4000-cusec water this year. We had planned to supply 300-cusec water to the Sonia Vihar Treatment Plant. Another 200-cusec water was to be supplied to Agra and Mathura for drinking purpose and 3,500 cusec was to be reserved for irrigation,” Verma said. At present, only 1000-cusec water was being released from Tehri Dam and that was not sufficient to meet UP’s demand, he said. “We are trying to meet the demand by releasing water from the Kalagarh dam located on the Ram Ganga,” he said.

The government has already pressed the panic button due to a sharp fall in water level of major rivers. The CM has shot off a letter to the Union Government, urging it to ensure that Uttar Pradesh gets 3,500 cusec water for irrigation and another 200 cusec for drinking water supply. UP was awaiting a reply from the Central Government, an official said.

Scanty rainfall and dry winter has added to the water woes.

In February 2005, 10,510-cusec water was available in the Ganga, but this has receded to 7035 cusec now. In Yamuna, water has decreased from 3,340 cusec to 2,969 cusec. In the Sharda, water has diminished from 6,359 cusec to 4,379 cusec. In the Ghaghra, water has decreased from 12,335 cusec to 11,100 cusec.

In the Gandak, water has receded from 11,700 cusec in February 2005 to 9,500 cusec this year. Maximum volume of the water available in the river was diverted to the canal for irrigation purpose, an official said.

First Published: Mar 03, 2006 01:22 IST