Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday appealed to Haryana to release additional water in the Yamuna river on humanitarian grounds to address the shortage of water in the capital.
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Kejriwal said he also discussed the issue with Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena at a meeting.
“We should not go into the legalities… That Delhi’s share is this much and Haryana is releasing this much…Delhi faces a water shortage and I appeal to the Haryana government to release additional water in the Yamuna on humanitarian grounds,” Kejriwal told reporters after meeting the LG.
Jal Board Vice Chairman Saurabh Bharadwaj also appealed to the Haryana government to release Delhi’s share of water in the Yamuna to tide over the water crisis in the capital.
He claimed Haryana has stopped releasing water from the Tajewala Barrage in Yamuna Nagar district which has reduced the water supply in Delhi by around 100 million gallons a day.
“The Yamuna runs eight feet deep in Delhi and the water level has already reduced by 7.5 feet. The river has become dry. The drinking water problem in Delhi has aggravated over the last two days,” he said.
“As a contingency measure, we have created depressions in the river bed to collect a sufficient quantity of water which is being lifted with the help of temporary floating pumps,” Bharadwaj said, adding the situation cannot improve until Haryana releases water in the river.
People are learning to drive and are playing cricket on the river bed because it has dried up completely, Bhardawaj said.
According to the DJB, the water level in the Wazirabad pond stands at 667 feet as against the normal of 674.5 feet.
The Wazirabad, Chandrawal and Okhla water treatment plants lift water from the Wazirabad pond, clean it and supply to northeast Delhi, west Delhi, north Delhi, central Delhi, south Delhi, including Delhi Cantonment, and New Delhi Municipal Council areas.
The Chandrawal, Wazirabad and Okhla WTPs have a capacity of 90 MGD, 135 MGD and 20 MGD, respectively.
Delhi requires around 1,200 MGD of water, while the DJB supplies around 1,000 MGD.
Bhardwaj said the water production has dropped below 900 MGD.
The DJB had Thursday written a letter to the Haryana Irrigation Department, the fifth time this summer season, asking it to release water from the Somb river, a tributary of the Yamuna.
Haryana supplies a total of 610 million gallons of water a day to Delhi through two canals — Carrier Lined Canal (CLC) and Delhi Sub Branch (DSB) — and the Yamuna.
The CLC and the DSB are supplied water from Hathni Kund via Munak canal and the Bhakra Beas Management Board. Besides, Delhi receives 253 MGD from Uttar Pradesh through the Upper Ganga Canal, and 90 MGD is drawn from ranney wells and tube wells installed across the city.
The DJB said the water level in CLC and DSB is also fluctuating and the presence of unusual floating material had affected water supply through Haiderpur Phase I and II, Bawana, Nangloi and Dwarka WTPs.