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Delhi’s water shortage is a crisis borne out of Haryana’s refusal to abide by legal commitments

Delhi’s water shortage is a crisis borne out of Haryana’s refusal to abide by legal commitments: On the Last week in the ongoing fight between the respective state governments in Haryana & Delhi, regarding the perennially contentious issue of water sharing, Haryana requested Delhi to drop the numerous cases filed against it by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) in the High Court, National Green Tribunal (NGT), Supreme Court and the Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB).

Children play in the damaged Munak canal, that supplies three-fifths of the water to Delhi, in Sonipat in the northern state of Haryana, India, February 24, 2016. A political ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was shouted down on Tuesday by a crowd angered by rioting in Haryana that destroyed businesses, paralysed transport and cut water supplies to metropolitan Delhi. The army on Monday retook control of the canal. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY – D1AESOWKUQAA

The Haryana’s request was made primarily on account of express to make sure that, the national capital, Delhi that it would release the requisite amount of Yamuna water to Delhi.

With some of the onerous terms notwithstanding, Delhi promptly dropped, albeit temporarily, all such cases in the expectation that the Haryana government can abide by its promise as per prior to the same.

Though, in a surprising and disappointing turn of events, the chief minister of the Haryana, a few days ago, ruled out providing Delhi with its requisite share — in clear contradiction to make sure that this will be provided by his state government.

For some time now, Delhi has been facing the water issue which has only been made worse by the sweltering summer season) massively because this one is beyond its control and jurisdiction.

Before speaking about roots of the current water problem in Delhi, that is also imperative to understand the historical situation of water and its sources in the national capital, Delhi.

Through the lens of history

The water problems of the city, Delhi, have often been caused for reasons other than the simple economics of demand and supply. In fact, the major risks that Delhi’s water supply system is going through within the city’s borders, but outside.

Delhi is a land-locked state with little access to freshwater sources, is a major issue of the city.

Rough accounting display that the daily demand for water for, is growing, with the population of 20 million is around 1,200 million gallons per day (MGD) and Delhi receives about 870 MGD of water primarily from the Eastern Yamuna Canal (270 MGD), Western Yamuna Canal (280 MGD), Upper Ganga Canal (255 MGD) and Delhi’s own groundwater resources (65 MGD).

So, it is clear that Delhi relies on the Yamuna for about 60 percent of its requirement of the water.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), In 1994, was signed between the five basin states — Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh — as regards to the allocation of the surface flow of the Yamuna river.

The MoU mandated the following:

(1) under Clause 7(iii), the Creation of the Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB), primarily vested with the authority to regulate the allotment and monitor return flows

(2) If the available quantity of water is less than the assessed quantity, then the water will be first allocated to Delhi and the balance will be then distributed, in proportion, to Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh.

the Supreme Court, In 1996, in an order, insisted that Haryana was supposed to maintain the level of the Wazirabad pond in Delhi at 674.5 feet right through the year in order to make sure that (a) heightened ammonia levels do not pollute the water (b) Delhi continues to get its fair share (as per the MoU of 1994) in a case of a water emergency situation.

Water from the Yamuna reaches Delhi principally via the 102-kilometre long Munak Canal, that is the vital part of the larger 325 kilometre long Western Yamuna Canal, which takes off from the Hathnikund barrage built on the upper stretches of the Yamuna.

The Hathnikund barrage is situated at a point which arrives post-Yamuna has covered an undulating terrain of almost 200 kilometres via the hills.

About 3 kilometres upstream of Tajewala, Hathnikund is constructed and became operational by the end of 2002.

So Haryana, through the dam and sluice controls at Hathnikund and its own extensive canal system is in a domineering position which also controls how much water to release to Delhi downstream via the Munak Canal.

though the Delhi government is Even paid for concrete lining of the Munak Canal in order to have an advantage of the benefit of water saved from wasteful leakages, the Haryana government often plays truant, and routinely diverts water from the Munak to multiple off-shoot regular canals downstream, a little before the Delhi-Haryana border.

The root of the current water crisis in Delhi

Due to the early January, Delhi saw high levels of ammonia (0.9 ppm to 2.6ppm against the CPCB’s stipulated limit of 0.5ppm) in the Yamuna river early January, by the Haryana to Delhi, making the water unfit to process at DJB’s Water Treatment Plants (WTPs).

This is also Mixing a high level of ammonia along with the treating agent of chlorine used at the WTPs can have potentially led to the formation of a carcinogenic compound regarded as the Trihalomethane.

This is the direct result, water production at three WTPs — Haiderpur, Chandrawal, and Wazirabad — decreased by about 40 percent since 1 January.

This can be the reason for the less water to be pumped into circulation and taps which is now going dry.

The reason d’être behind such high levels of ammonia was the Haryana government’s hopeless inability to stop factories at the Delhi-Haryana border from releasing polluted effluents directly in the river Yamuna.

The Haryana government, is in the direct contravention of the MoU signed in 1994 and in the 1996 Supreme Court’s order, has not released sufficient water to Delhi Supreme Court’s order of 2018.

In almost 22 years, This has happened for the first time. According to the MoU and the SC order, Haryana is having the authorization to provide 450 cusecs of water daily to the city of Delhi.

Though, this has only been providing 330 cusecs of water daily — 120 cusecs less than the predetermined amount — and this one is the result which is also affecting the large areas of Delhi and citizen of the city, who are suffering from a water crisis.

BJP’s Political Vendetta is hurting the people of Delhi

That the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) holds the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Arvind Kejriwal in disapproval is not news.

in 2015, Since the time Kejriwal, consigned BJP, an erstwhile Goliath in Delhi politics, to a non-decrepit pygmy burdened with dropping external expectations and ridden with paralyzing factionalism from within, the BJP, via the constitutional office of the unelected Lieutenant Governor (L-G) has left no stone unturned in order to cripple the AAP government in Delhi.

On the water-sharing, The BJP-led Haryana Government, go back on, the pact is yet another sordid episode in a concerted and unholy bid which reportedly damages the state government in Delhi, both from within and without.