Updated June 10th, 2024 at 18:20 IST

Delhi L-G Assures Help Over Water Shortage Issue, Asks Atishi, Saurabh to Avoid Blame Game

Lt Governor V K Saxena on Monday met Delhi ministers Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj, assured them that he will take up the water supply matter with Haryana govt.

Delhi L-G assures help over water shortage issue | Image:PTI
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New Delhi, Jun 10 (PTI) Lt Governor V K Saxena on Monday met Delhi ministers Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj and assured them that he will take up the water supply matter with the Haryana government. He advised them not to indulge in "blame game" and resolve issues amicably.

The ruling AAP dispensation has accused the BJP-ruled Haryana of stopping Delhi's share of water for the past several days as the national capital is passing through a severe water crisis amid unprecedented summer heat.

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After meeting, Atishi said the LG assured them that he would talk to the Haryana government to ensure that the national capital's share of 1,050 cusecs water is released in the Munak canal.

In a statement, the LG office said Saxena assured the ministers that he will take up the matter of supply with the government of Haryana and request them to give extra water on humanitarian grounds.

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Saxena also advised the ministers to avoid blame game and prevent wastage of water, it said.

"The LG advised the ministers to not get into pointless blame game and resolve the issue amicably with the neighbouring states. He pointed out that even if Haryana were to give additional water above its allocated share, Delhi did not have enough water treatment plants (WTPs) and capacity to treat the water and supply to the people of Delhi," the statement said.

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He underlined that if the wastage of the water to the tune of 25 per cent in Munak canal due to lack of repairs and theft, and 54 per cent unaccounted water which includes 40 per cent leakages and theft in the city itself are plugged, the water crisis in Delhi will automatically be resolved to a large extent, it said.

The Delhi government has during the past fortnight repeatedly accused Haryana of not releasing the national capital's share of water.

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Atishi said, "The water level in the Wazirabad barrage has gone down and less water is coming from the Munak canal. We have requested the Lt Governor to talk to the Haryana government about releasing more water in the Munak canal.

"Seven treatment plants of Delhi depend on the Munak canal for water. The Lt Governor has assured us that he would talk to the Haryana government," she said.

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Atishi said they also spoke to Saxena about the vacant posts in the Delhi Jal Board (DJB).

"The DJB CEO also holds charge of two other critical departments -- GST and public works department. He (Saxena) has assured us that he will appoint an officer who will solely hold the charge of DJB CEO.

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"Apart from that, there is no member (finance) or member (drainage) in the DJB. We have raised the issue in the last six months with the Lt Governor but the appointments have not been made," the senior AAP leader said.

"He (Saxena) has assured us that he will address the issue within one or two days," Atishi added.

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Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar and DJB CEO A Anbarasu were also present in the meeting.

It was brought to the notice of the LG and the ministers that a team of Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB) officials, along with senior officials from the Delhi and Haryana governments inspected supply of water at the head of Munak Canal in Delhi on Sunday evening.

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The team had found the water supply from Haryana to be sufficient, the LG office statement claimed.

Atishi, however, claimed that 137 cusecs of water released by Himachal Pradesh according to a Supreme Court order has yet not reached Delhi.

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According to the inspection report of the team officials, Haryana on Sunday had released 2,289 cusecs of water in Munak and the quantity of water released from Munak to Kakori for supply exclusively to Delhi was 1,161.084 cusecs against the quota of 1,050 cusecs of water.

However, water received from Munak Canal at Bawana in Delhi was 960.78 cusec, amounting to a loss of 200 cusecs, that is 18 per cent on that date. These losses should be less than 5 per cent according to the accepted norms, the statement said.

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This water loss has also been highlighted by the UYRB in its meeting held on June 5 where the representatives of both Delhi and Haryana were present. The meeting flagged this huge water loss calling for "urgent action is needed for Delhi sub-branch to bring down the losses which is around 25 per cent", it said.

Munak Canal is the main source from where Delhi gets water from Haryana for supply to seven out of Delhi's nine WTPs. During transit, a huge quantity of water is lost and stolen due to non-maintenance of the Munak Canal during its course in Delhi, it said.

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This happens because of leakages due to non-repair of lining of the Canal as also theft by tankers, which were seen to be unauthorisedly lifting water during the inspection also, it said.

In the meeting, the LG also shared photographs with the ministers where tankers were lined up along Munak Canal in Delhi and lifting water illegally.

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However, it was also informed that during the current heat wave conditions, water received at Munak during May stood at an average 948 cusecs and in June till now at an average 870 MGD, the statement said.

The LG also asked the minister to ascertain from Himachal Pradesh government if it was actually releasing 137 cusecs of water for Delhi.

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The issue of 54 per cent unaccounted water and 40 per cent leakage in Delhi due to theft and unrepaired pipelines was again flagged by the LG and it was agreed by the minister that a concrete plan of action for addressing this issue will soon be prepared by the DJB, it said.

The LG also assured that the issue of shortage of staff at DJB and additional burden on the CEO (DJB) will be addressed suitably at the earliest, it added.

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(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Republic and is published from a syndicated feed.) 

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Published June 10th, 2024 at 18:20 IST