Delhi L-G meets Atishi, Saurabh Bharadwaj over water crisis in national capital

New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) Delhi Lieutenant Governor V.K. Saxena on Monday met Water Minister Atishi and Urban Development Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj in connection with the ongoing water crisis in some parts of the national capital, an official said.

According to Raj Niwas, the Chief Secretary and the CEO of Delhi Jal Board (DJB) were also present at the meeting which brought to the notice of the L-G and the ministers that a team of Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB), along with senior officials from the city government and Haryana government, inspected the supply of water at the head of Munak Canal on the Delhi side on Sunday evening.

The L-G office said the team found the water supply from Haryana to be sufficient.

As per the inspection report, it was informed that Haryana on June 9 released 2,289 cusec of water at Munak Canal in Haryana and the quantity of water released from Munak to Kakori for supply exclusively to Delhi was 1,161.084 cusec against the quota of 1,050 cusec of water.

“However, water received from Munak Canal at Bawana in Delhi was 960.78 cusec, amounting to a loss of 200 cusec, i.e., 18 per cent on that date. These losses should be less than 5 per cent as per the accepted norms,” said the L-G office.

Munak Canal is the main source from where Delhi gets water from Haryana for supply to seven out of Delhi’s nine water treatment plants (WTP).

“During transit, a huge quantity of water is lost and stolen due to non-maintenance of the Munak Canal during its course in Delhi. This happens because of leakages due to non-repair of lining of the Canal as also theft by tankers, which were seen unauthorisedly lifting water during the inspection also,” said the Raj Niwas officials.

In the meeting, the L-G also shared photographs with the ministers showing tankers lined up along the Munak Canal in Delhi and lifting water illegally.

However, it was also informed that during the current heat wave conditions, water received at Munak Canal during May stood at an average of 948 cusec and an average 870 MGD so far in June.

“It also came out during the meeting that it could not be ascertained yet whether Himachal Pradesh was actually releasing the additional 137 cusec of water into Yamuna. The L-G asked the ministers to take up the matter with the Himachal Pradesh government,” said an official.

“It was also informed that even from June 1-8, all but one WTP in Delhi were working beyond their capacity and even on June 8, 854 MGD water was produced against the capacity of 821 MGD.

“The Wazirabad WTP was the only one which had been functioning under its capacity and even on June 8, its production stood at 119.5 MGD against the capacity of 131 MGD,” the official added.

At the meeting, the issue of inordinate delay in the commissioning of the Chandrawal and Dwarka WTPs, pending for years, was also discussed.

While it was underlined that the Chandrawal WTP got delayed due to Covid, the one at Dwarka, which had a commissioning date of just 18 months, was running behind schedule due to a shortage of funds.

“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 L-G and it was agreed by the ministers that a concrete plan of action for addressing this issue will soon be prepared by the DJB,” the official said.

The L-G has assured that he will take up the matter of supply of water with the Haryana government and request them to give extra water on humanitarian grounds.

The L-G also assured that the issue of staffing at DJB and the additional burden on its CEO will be addressed suitably at the earliest, the official said.

Meanwhile, addressing a press conference after the meeting, Bharadwaj said that as a minister, he can say with full responsibility that the press release issued by the L-G’s office is “misleading”.

“This is a false attempt to misrepresent the facts. When we met the L-G, he had installed three cameras to record the meeting. I am requesting the L-G to put the recording of the meeting in the public domain. Let the people of Delhi and the country see what was discussed. I am challenging the L-G,” he said.

–IANS

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