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Haryana CM promises help on water; Delhi not convinced | Latest News Delhi

Haryana CM promises help on water; Delhi not convinced | Latest News Delhi

Lieutenant governor VK Saxena on Tuesday said he discussed the water situation in the Capital with Haryana chief minister Nayab Singh Saini, who assured all help to the city despite his own state’s constraints with regard to water stress due to the peak summer period.

The Yamuna at ITO on Tuesday. The Delhi government has said that Haryana is not releasing enough water. (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)

The Delhi government, however, alleged that an affidavit filed by the Haryana government in the Supreme Court shows that the water supply to the city was reduced.

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The development came even as the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) on Tuesday stated that the city was supplied 958.26 million gallons per day (mgd) of water — the season’s lowest so far — against the targeted supply levels of 1,000 mgd. Before this, the season’s low was on May 26, when DJB supplied 966.1 mgd of water.

According to DJB officials, a shortfall of 1 mgd affects an estimated 21,500 people in the city. On Tuesday, several localities in the Capital experienced zero or low water supply, including Kirari, Sadar Bazar, Baljeet Nagar, and Vasant Kunj.

Saxena said that in his conversation with Saini, the Haryana CM maintained that his state is providing water to Delhi as per its allocated share.

“He reiterated that water was being provided to Delhi as per allocated share and assured of all possible help, despite the state’s own constraints due to the ongoing heat wave,” the LG posted on X after speaking to Saini.

The Delhi government over the last week has alleged a dip in the raw water supply to the city via two sources in Haryana — the Yamuna water channel and the Munak Canal. On Tuesday, the water level of the Yamuna at the Wazirabad pondage area had dropped to 669.4 ft, against the normal levels of 674.5 ft. This dip in water level, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has alleged, has resulted in Delhi receiving around 200 cusecs of water less than its allotted share of 1,050 cusecs.

One cusec is equal to around 1.5 mgd.

On Tuesday, water minister Atishi reiterated the claim, alleging that an affidavit filed by the Haryana government in the Supreme Court shows that the water supply to Delhi was reduced at two separate points — once close to the dates of the Lok Sabha elections in Delhi on May 25, and the second time in the last few days.

“The figures of the affidavit given by the Haryana government in the Supreme Court show that from May 1 to 22, Haryana was releasing 719 cusecs of water in CLC and 330 cusecs of water in DSB through Munak canal. That means 1049 cusecs of water was released daily. But after this, it started decreasing from May 23. Compared to 719 cusecs of water in CLC and 330 cusecs in DSB, the water supply became 675 cusecs and 283 cusecs,” she said at a press conference.

“According to Haryana’s data, on June 7, 8, 9 and 10, Haryana was supposed to release 719 cusecs of water in CLC, instead of which only 675 cusecs of water was released, and in DSB, instead of 330 cusecs, 310 cusecs of water was released,” she said.

Atishi also questioned why action was not being taken against those stealing water from the Munak canal.

“The LG claims that water coming from Munak canal is being stolen from tankers in Delhi. The reality is that less water is coming at the Bawana entry point in Delhi… If illegal tankers are being filled in Delhi, then why has LG not taken action by sending the police till now?” she said, adding that the maintenance of Munak canal also came under Haryana, not Delhi.

Countering the allegations, the LG secretariat accused Atishi of trying to mislead the people of Delhi.

“All water treatment plants in Delhi, barring one, are producing more water than their capacity, from water supplied by the Munak canal from Haryana. The Haryana government repairs the Munak Canal but the same is done at the demand of and payment by Delhi government, and Delhi has never tried to ascertain the disrepair in the lining of the canal and never asked for its repair,” an official said.

The official said that DJB has never filed a complaint over water theft. “Let her file a complaint and FIR, LG will ensure strictest action,” the official said.

Two WTPs affected, says DJB

According to DJB officials, the city experiences an annual lean water supply spell in the second and third week of June. This season, only the Wazirabad water treatment plant (WTP) was suffering from a drop in productivity, but now, water production has begun to drop at other plants.

“So far, the problem was only restricted to the Wazirabad WTP, but this is the first time that the water production has gone down in the Haiderpur WTP,” an official said, on condition of anonymity.

The Wazirabad plant, which supplies water to parts of north, central and New Delhi, has a target of 134 mgd water, but this production dropped to 113.11 mgd on Tuesday, officials said.

What is more worrying, they said, is that operations at the Haiderpur WTP — the city’s largest — have also been affected, with the plant now supplying 220.14 mgd, against its targeted production of 241 mgd. This WTP receives raw water from the Munak and DSB canals, and supplies water to northwest and west Delhi.

In addition, the city-wide power outage triggered by a fire at a power grid substation in Mandola, Uttar Pradesh also impacted operations of the Chandrawal, Wazirabad, Sonia Vihar, Bhagirathi, and Okhla WTPs, DJB officials said.

To be sure, even though Delhi’s targeted supply under its summer action plan is 1,000 mgd, the Capital’s economic survey says the estimated demand is 1,290 mgd. The demand-supply gap further widens and the system gets under stress during peak summer period.

In the south, Rajesh Panwar, who heads the federation of Vasant Kunj RWAs, said that after an initial blip in the beginning of June, the water supply to the area had improved, but had started dipping again over the last two days.

“The pressure is low but it’s still not as bad in May… At the worst point, we were getting 400-500 litres of water, instead of 1000 litres. Now, on an average, we are getting 700-800 litres. It would be better if the government gets into action mode before things start spiralling downward,” Panwar said.

Meanwhile, some parts of the city have reported water leakages.

Ashok Randhawa, who heads the Sarojini Nagar Mini Market Association, said the water supply line near gate number 4 of the market was damaged two days ago, and was finally repaired only on Tuesday. “Thousands of gallons of water was wasted. The agencies should plug such leakages immediately,” he said.

Anju Kohli, a resident of Rohini Sector 11, said their locality did not receive any water on Tuesday. “There was no water supply in the morning, and till 6pm, we received no water. Our taps are running dry,” Kohli said.

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