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While AAP govt blames other states for water crisis in Delhi, its own Jal Board says Delhi is getting more than allocated water from Haryana and Uttarakhand

As the DJB plants are already operating beyond their capacity, the Delhi government’s demand from neighbouring states to release more water will not solve the crisis as water treatment plants may not be able to treat it.

As the National Capital struggles with an acute water crisis in the scorching June heat, the ruling party in New Delhi, AAP, has alleged that the neighbouring BJP-ruled states have reduced the water supply to Delhi, exacerbating the crisis. Indulging in a blame game and accusing the neighbouring BJP-ruled states, CM Arvind Kejriwal stated, “The demand for water supply has surged due to the heatwave. Neighbouring states have reduced the water supply to Delhi, resulting in a high demand (sic) and minimal shortage.”

Kejriwal added, “.. If the BJP can persuade its governments in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to supply some water to Delhi for a month, the people of Delhi would greatly appreciate their efforts.”

Similarly, Delhi water minister Atishi also has been blaming Haryana for cutting the water supply to Delhi. Additionally, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government in Delhi has also moved the Supreme Court to seek a direction to neighbouring states, particularly Haryana, to supply more water to the crisis-hit national capital.

However, the Summer Bulletin released by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), which operates under the AAP government in the National Capital, indicates otherwise, exposing the AAP government’s lies and blame game. The data from the Jal Board point out that Delhi is receiving more than its allocated share of water from sources in Haryana and Uttarakhand. Furthermore, according to DJB officials, Wazirabad was already getting around 85 Million Gallons per Day (MGD) more than the allocated water from the Yamuna stream coming from the Hathnikund barrage to the pond.

Notably, the Jal Board recently changed the format of the Summer Bulletin and started to show data on the cumulative Water (in million gallons per day) received from sources in the neighbouring states and Water production at the treatment plants in Delhi.

The summer bulletin was started by DJB this month and till 29th May it used to publish the details of water treated at its all water treatment plants, details of water quality tests performed at various places, and a summary of complaints. However, from 31 May, the Jal Board started publishing data on water received from various sources, retained the data on water treated, and dropped the data on water quality tests and complaints.

The three summer bulletins published on 31 May, 1 June and 2 June show that every day, Delhi is receiving more water in total from Haryana and Uttarakhand compared to allocation.

Delhi receives water from Haryana through 3 routes, Delhi Sub Branch, Carrier Lined Canal, and River Yamuna. While the total allocation for Delhi from Haryana is 547 MGD, it received 604 MGD on 31 May, and 607 MGD each on 1st and 2nd June.

Delhi is allocated 254 million gallons per day of water from the Upper Ganga Canal, and on all three days, Delhi Jal Board received 257 MGD, 3 MGD more. The Upper Ganga Canal is a major water canal in north India that originates in Haridwar in Uttarakhand and carries water to Uttar Pradesh. However, near Muradnagar in Uttar Pradesh, a pipeline diverts some of the water to Delhi, which is sent to Bhagirthi Water Treatment plant and Sonia Vihar Water Treatment Plant run by DJB.

Notably, the Delhi Jal Board bulletin shows that Delhi is not allotted any water from River Yamuna, but it drew 85 MGD on 31 May and 101 MGD each on 1st and 2nd June from the river. On the other hand, the receipt from Carrier Lined Canal was less than the allocation. But as DJB drew from Yamuna without allocation and received more water from the Delhi Sub Branch, the total water received from Haryana was more than the total allocation.

Referring to the Summer Bulletin, a DJB official said, “The latest bulletin highlights that around 85 MGD of water is being lifted by DJB which has not been allocated, suggesting either Delhi is lifting without authorisation or Haryana is already giving more than what is allocated to Delhi.” 

Dismissing the allegations of AAP leaders, another DJB official said, “We are getting the amount of water that we usually get during this time of the year from Haryana but as the temperatures are reaching an unprecedented level, the problems have increased for people. We are trying to manage.” 

These DJB Summer Bulletins contradict Water Minister Atishi’s allegation that Haryana has reduced water supply to Delhi. After the crisis began this month, the DJB and water minister have contradicted each other several times.

Highlighting the same, BJP Delhi President, Virend Sachdeva slammed the AAP government and stated, “There is no shortage of raw water or pure drinking water in Delhi, the problem is that Kejriwal government minister Ms Atishi is so busy in political rhetoric that she is not able to pay attention to the water and electricity crisis.”

Delhi government fails to address the mismatch in demand and supply

It is pertinent to note that the national capital has long faced water scarcity as it heavily relies on neighbouring states to fulfil most of its water needs. 

Delhi receives its supply as Water from the upper Yamuna reaches the Carrier Lined Channel (CLC) Munak, the Delhi Sub-Branch (DSB) canals from Haryana, and the Upper Ganga Canal via Muradnagar from Uttar Pradesh is channelled through nine water treatment plants to reach households. 

However, this supply falls short of the city’s total requirements. According to reports, Delhi has a daily water demand of 1,290 million gallons per day (MGD), but the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), the government agency responsible for the supply of potable water to most of Delhi, currently supplies only 1,000 MGD. The shortfall is made up by tapping into Delhi’s groundwater reserves.

The DJB data has also shown that the Water treatment plants are producing more than their actual capacity, taking the overall water production to 990 MGD from all plants and tube wells. However, it is still much less than what is required in Delhi as people continue to face difficulties.

The installed capacity of all water treatment plants run by DJP is 956 MGD, but it is consistently producing more water than that. Except for the Wazirabad Treatment Plant, all other plants are running at over capacity. The low production at Wazirabad is because of low level of water at Wazirabad pond, and sometimes due to power cuts.

As the DJB plants are already operating beyond their capacity, the Delhi government’s demand from neighbouring states to release more water will not solve the crisis as water treatment plants may not be able to treat it. Therefore, the Delhi government needs to increase treatment capacity before demanding more water. Otherwise, any excess water received will simply go to waste as the plants will for forced to release them downstream instead of pumping them into water supply network.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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