Delhi, Haryana in a tussle over water supply

The Haryana government officials have said that Delhi is being supplied more water than its legal share even as the Delhi Jal Board has maintained over the past few days the supply is being affected because it is not getting adequate water from the neighbouring state.

Delhi is covering its own “inefficiency in distribution and management of water” by raising false claims of deficit supply from Haryana, the State’s additional chief secretary of irrigation and water resources department Devender Singh alleged.

He told The Indian Express that the capital is being supplied water in excess of its share as determined by inter-state agreements.

Singh’s statement comes after the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) issued three advisories over the past month, cautioning residents about water supply being affected in parts of the city due to low water level in the Yamuna.

It blamed the Haryana government for not releasing the required amount of water in the river, causing a dip in the pond level at Wazirabad from where water is picked for treatment by three plants.

Singh, refuting the DJB’s allegation, said, “Delhi is being supplied water in excess of their share determined as per inter-state agreements. This is on account of Supreme Court orders in 1996, which we have always complied with and are complying till date.”

He added, “In response to a writ petition filed by the DJB in Supreme Court recently, a committee was constituted under the chairmanship of the secretary of Ministry of Jal Shakti. They have submitted a report stating clearly that Haryana is supplying full quantity of water to Delhi. They keep raising… (the issue) to cover their own inefficiency in distribution and management of water.”

The Indian Express approached a DJB official for a response who said the Board cannot comment on the issue at present as the matter is sub judice and the Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB) has to take a view of the issue.