Thu, Jul 18, 2024

Himachal takes u-turn, says 'No surplus water to share with Delhi amidst water crisis'

Reported by:  PTC News Desk  Edited by:  Annesha Barua -- June 13th 2024 01:59 PM
Himachal takes u-turn, says 'No surplus water to share with Delhi amidst water crisis'

Himachal takes u-turn, says 'No surplus water to share with Delhi amidst water crisis'

PTC News Desk: Himachal Pradesh has declared that it does not have excess water to deliver to the national capital, in a turn of events in the Supreme Court case over Delhi's escalating water crisis. A day earlier, the hill state had declared that it has released water for Delhi and that the supply must pass through Haryana.

The Supreme Court ordered the Himachal Pradesh government to release 137 cusecs of excess water to the national capital and instructed Haryana to facilitate its flow, as inhabitants of Delhi struggle under the combined weight of a heatwave and a water crisis. The court had declared that Delhi's lack of drinking water has turned into a "existential problem".

Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, stated to the media yesterday that the state had released water. "Water has been released by us. We have requested that advocates alert the Supreme Court about this. We are prepared to provide the water that we have released. There's not a single if or but."

The representative for the Himachal government made a U-turn today, telling the court that the 137 cubic seconds of water were "unutilised after use of irrigation and part of natural course of river flow". "We weren't able to communicate it clearly earlier. Our accurate statement might be documented. We may have erred previously, but I've been informed. He added, "I'll make the necessary corrections and retract the earlier claim that the flow was impeded.

The court issued a warning for this. "We can haul you up for contempt and summon your Chief Secretary," it continued. The government counsel for Himachal Pradesh expressed regret and promised to withdraw their previous submission in favour of an affidavit.

The Upper River Yamuna Board has been ordered by the court to resolve the issue. Prior to the court's June 6 verdict, the board had ordered Himachal Pradesh to demonstrate that it has been releasing 137 cusecs of unused water for Delhi.

The board cited a letter that Himachal Pradesh wrote to Haryana, stating that the hill state's portion of unused water was already flowing continuously to the Hathnikund barrage and that Haryana need to release it, in an affidavit that was submitted to the court.

"According to the letter above, 137 cubic seconds of unused water are currently flowing continuously from Himachal Pradesh's territory to Tajewala (in Haryana). As a result, it becomes clear that Himachal Pradesh is not discharging any more water in accordance with the Supreme Court's decision from June 6, 2024, which the Upper Yamuna River Board may measure," the board stated.

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The lack of drinking water in many parts of Delhi is causing agony for the locals, making the scorching intolerable. The tanker mafia's operations throughout the crisis have made things worse for the locals. The Aam Aadmi Party government has been under fire from the court for water wasting and the tanker mafia, and it has been questioned about the actions it has taking to address these issues.

Every channel features images showing the tanker mafia's operations in Delhi. What steps have you made to address this? If this is a persistent issue, what steps have you made to control the amount of water waste that passes through the two barrages? The bench asked, "Please show us what action or FIR you have filed against tanker mafias."

Atishi, the water minister for Delhi, claimed that the government had reduced the number of water tankers from the Delhi Jal Board without informing her, which she claimed helped the tanker mafia. She has also requested an investigation into the purported connection between senior officials and the tanker mafia in a letter to Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena.

The Delhi government has petitioned the court to order Haryana to release excess water that Himachal has supplied to the nation's capital.

The Delhi government's accusation has been denied by the Haryana government. "Haryana is doing a meticulous job of keeping its word to supply water to Delhi. According to Minister of State for Irrigation and Water Resources Abhe Singh Yadav, Haryana not only satisfies but beyond its commitments in this area.

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- With inputs from agencies

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