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Sunday 26 January 2020

Water crisis imminent in Delhi: Kejriwal seeks PM’s intervention

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention in ensuring sufficient water supply from Haryana as the National Capital stares at a possible water crisis next week

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention in ensuring sufficient water supply from Haryana as the National Capital stares at a possible water crisis next week.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Kejriwal said the city had been receiving 1,133 cusecs of water from Haryana since 1996, but recently, for the first time in 22 years, the neighbouring State contested Delhi’s right over this water and partially stopped the supply to the National Capital.

“The Supreme Court has directed Haryana to keep supplying the earlier quantity of water till 21 May, which means the State could reduce water supply after Monday,” he said.

If that happens, it would create an “unprecedented shortage of water” in Delhi and could lead to “serious” law and order situation, the Chief Minister said.

“I would urge you (PM) to kindly use your good offices to persuade Haryana to continue supplying (the) same level of water that it has been supplying for last 22 years and not to disrupt it till the issue is finally decided by the courts,” Kejriwal said in the letter.

The Haryana government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it would maintain status quo on the supply of Yamuna river water to Delhi till 21 May.

The apex court asked the Delhi government and the Delhi Jal Board to request Haryana for the maintenance of status quo on water supply and directed Haryana to take an independent decision on the matter.

The Chief Minister also wrote to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, saying, “Just two days are left, we need to act fast to prevent a crisis.”

He requested Baijal to talk to the Prime Minister seeking his intervention in the matter if there is no response from Haryana.

Yesterday too, Kejriwal had written to his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar and Delhi L-G over the issue.

In his letter to Modi, the Chief Minister said disruption in water supply from Haryana could affect Chandrawal water treatment plant, which supplies water to NDMC area where Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament, embassies and major establishments like railway stations and hospitals are located.

“In addition to affecting the public at large, any disruption in water supply would affect all these establishments also.

“The Delhi government has already filed an application before Upper Yamuna River Board. However, final adjudication by the board could take some time,” Kejriwal said.

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