Delhi-Haryana water war intensifies; Chief Ministers to meet today

Delhi-Haryana water war intensifies; Chief Ministers to meet today
New Delhi: With Delhi reeling under severe water shortage due to cut in raw water supply by Haryana, the Prime Minister's Office has asked chief ministers of both states to resolve the issue amicably.

"The Prime Minister's Office has asked both the Chief Minister's to resolve the issue amicably through talks," a top Delhi government official said.

As water crisis deepened in the city, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday seeking his intervention in making Haryana release adequate quantity of water to Delhi.

Following the PMO directive, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and her Haryana counterpart Bhupinder Singh Hooda will hold a meeting today to discuss the issue, the official said.

Areas across Delhi have been grappling with acute shortage of water for last four days as production of water at treatment plants in the city has come down sharply due to shortage of raw water.

Agitated over Haryana cutting supply of water to Delhi, the city government had accused the neighbouring state of playing "foul" with it and was even contemplating going to courts. Haryana government has, however, rejected the allegations.

The war of words between the two neighbouring states intensified today with Haryana claiming that it is releasing double the Delhi's legitimate share of water to them.

Haryana also accused the neighbouring state of snapping the water supply of a residential colony in the national capital, where some families of Haryana Irrigation Department are residing.

On the other hand, a statement from Dikshit's office said, Haryana's Irrigation Secretary KK Jalan yesterday visited Wazirabad and Haiderpur water treatment plants in the city without informing the Delhi Jal Board.

It said the official came to know about the ground realities after visiting the plants and the Wazirabad pond from where the plants draw raw water.

"Haryana Government has at last realised that an alarm raised by Delhi Government on water issue is based on ground realities," the statement said.

DJB officials said the water level at the Wazirabad pond has come down to 672 ft against normal level of 674.5 ft.

Water treatment plants at Haiderpur, Wazirabad and Chandrawal rely on raw water supply from the Wazirabad pond.

They said after noticing the dip in water level, Haryana Government has released raw water for the Wazirabad plant.

However, they said the Haiderpur Water Treatment Plant has been producing 15 MGD less water than the capacity due to short supply of raw water.

Officials said the Munaka canal dispute between the two states is likely to figure in the meeting between Dikshit and Hooda.

The Munak canal was constructed by Haryana with financial assistance of around Rs 414 crore given by Delhi government on the condition that the national capital will be supplied 80 MGD water from it. But later, Haryana refused to supply the water to the city.

Meanwhile, Chief Engineer of Yamuna Water Services, Haryana Irrigation Department in Delhi, Anand Kumar said Delhi's legitimate share of water is 610 cusecs at Munak canal and 610 cusecs of water is being released for the Haiderpur Water Treatment Plant.

In addition to this, Kumar said, more than 600 cusecs of water was being released from Munak for Chandrawal and Wazirabad treatment plants.

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