Delhi goes thirsty: Atishi seeks 'fair share' of water from Haryana, introduces water curbs

The AAP will approach SC if Haryana doesn't release Yamuna water, Atishi said

PTI05_30_2024_000063A Residents collect drinking water from a tanker amid ongoing water crisis at Vivekananda Colony, Chanakyapuri, in New Delhi | PTI

As water shortage grips Delhi, state minister Atishi has warned that the AAP government would approach the Supreme Court against Haryana for not releasing the state's share of Yamuna water. The water crisis comes as Delhi faces unprecedented summer heat.

The Delhi government will also write to the Centre against Haryana's "arbitrary action", Atishi added.

The minister, while visiting the Wazirabad Yamuna Reservoir, said Delhi was highly dependent on the Yamuna River for its entire water supply. "The water that comes to Delhi in Yamuna is whatever gets left after Haryana's use. The water level at the Wazirabad pond should be at 674 feet. However, it is 3 feet 5 inches lower. The water level of the Yamuna is 370.3 feet while it was 374.5 at the same time last year," Atishi said.

"The Wazirabad water treatment plant, Chandrawal treatment plant, and Okhla water treatment use the water from Yamuna. When the water level falls, the treatment plants don't get enough. How are we supposed to treat water if Haryana doesn't leave us enough," she questioned.

Atishi also rubbished allegations that the AAP government did not formulate a summer plan, including water rationing.

"Water rationing occurs when there is an increase in consumption that cannot be met by our existing water supply. However, the effectiveness of any action plan also depends on the water supply remaining at normal levels. Water treatment plants can't produce water, they can only treat it."

Tankers and enforcement teams

The Delhi government will establish a central command and a control room for water supply. People can call 1916 if they need a water tanker. "From June 5, ADM and SDM-level officers will be deployed at the 11 water zones in Delhi. They will assess the situation at the hotspots facing a water shortage and deploy water tankers at those places," Atishi said.

The government has also formed teams that will function round the clock to address complaints related to borewells. "There will be 200 enforcement teams under an IAS officer to check water wastage and issue challans. From Friday, there will be a ban on the use of potable water at construction sites and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi will carry out an inspection and take action if these sites are found flouting the ban.

"Similarly, the government is imposing a ban on the use of drinking water for washing cars and at car-service centres. Teams from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee will be inspecting these centres and if they are found flouting the ban, they will be sealed," Atishi said.

The government also held an emergency meeting regarding the water crisis that the city is facing amid a heatwave.


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