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Atishi writes to Delhi chief secretary, asks for water supply plan | Latest News Delhi

Delhi water minister Atishi on Wednesday wrote to chief secretary Naresh Kumar about complaints of water shortages that she has received from across the Capital, and directed him to prepare a colony-wise update on water availability and compare it with the demand of the peak summer months.

Delhi water minister Atishi on Wednesday wrote to chief secretary Naresh Kumar about complaints of water shortages she had received. (HT Photo)

The minister also directed the senior bureaucrat to prepare an action plan to supplement Delhi’s water supply through borewells, and to share plans for vulnerable areas.

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Kumar did not comment. However, a senior official from chief secretary’s office said that there was no water production crisis in the city and the average production of water for the last 10 days in was 990.18 million gallons per day (mgd), which is more than average production of 967.46 mgd in the corresponding period in 2023.

Meanwhile, DJB said that the apprehensions about the supply of water are “devoid of merit”.

This is the second time in two weeks that the Delhi government has raised the issue of water supply in the summer months — chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21, had in his first order from the federal agency’s custody on March 24 directed Atishi to address water- and sewage-related grievances from various parts of Delhi, and had asked her to make arrangements for water supply for the summer season.

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) supplies more than 1,003 mgd of water in the peak summer months of May and June — far below Delhi’s projected demand of 1290 mgd in these months. Around 40.8% of Delhi’s raw water supply comes from the Yamuna, 26.5% from the Ganga via the Upper Ganga Canal, 23.1% from the Bhakra storage (Ravi-Beas), while the rest comes from groundwater aquifers.

The direction issued by Atishi, dated April 3, states, “It has been brought to my notice that there is reduction in water production and water shortage in many parts of Delhi. This is an extremely urgent and critical matter. The people of Delhi cannot be allowed to suffer. I am attaching an illustrative list of areas from where I have been receiving frequent complaints.”

HT has seen a copy of the order. The order does not mention the names of any affected areas.

The order adds that the chief secretary is directed to review the water supply in all parts of Delhi on April 4, and provide by 8pm a “colony-wise update on water availability in comparison to the summer demand”.

A government official said that with the onset of the summer, Atishi has mandated the chief secretary to urgently reassess the supply of water across all parts of Delhi. “Citing the urgency of the matter, the Delhi water minister has said that Delhi residents cannot be allowed to suffer, attaching a list of areas from where complaints of water shortage are repeatedly received,” the official said, on condition of anonymity.

However, DJB denied the allegations made by the minister. In an official statement released late on Wednesday, the water utility said, “There are apprehensions and media reports that the daily production and supply of water by DJB had come down substantially affecting the supply of water to the people of Delhi. In this regard, DJB clarifies that such apprehensions and reports are devoid of any merit and not supported by facts or data. DJB categorically states that is no shortfall or reduction in the supply of water by DJB and optimum quantum of water is produced (from water, treatment plants and borewells) daily and supplied to the people of Delhi through piped network and through adequate number of tankers at the critical areas.”

To be sure, Delhi frequently faces water supply disruptions due to reduction in the flow of the Yamuna during the summer. The shortage leads to the declaration of public advisories; however, no such alarm has been raised by the water utility so far.

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