Faced with acute water shortage owing to the agitation by the Jat community in Haryana, the Delhi government Sunday directed all schools in the city to remain closed Monday.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “We held an emergency meeting and decided that except for the President, the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India, defence installations, fire brigade and hospitals, water in Delhi will be equally distributed among people. I too will be a part of these (water supply) cuts. I urge people to conserve (water) as much water as possible. We may have to make do with what we have for the next couple of days. I am hopeful that we will be able to resolve this crisis.”
Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia said examinations scheduled for Monday will be deferred. “It is quite possible that people may wake up tomorrow to find no water in their taps. How will children go to school or appear for examinations? The government has asked all schools run by the government, the municipal corporations and private schools to remain closed on Monday. Admission procedures scheduled for tomorrow will be postponed. After assessing the situation, we will take a decision for the coming days,” said Sisodia.
Delhi depends on Haryana for water supply through the Munak Canal. However, due to the agitations in the state for the past four days, water from the canal has not been released. The government, on Saturday, had moved the Supreme Court seeking its urgent intervention in resolving the crisis. The apex court will hear the case Monday.
Kejriwal said his government has constantly been in touch with the Haryana government and the Centre and is hopeful the issue will be resolved. “…We have to prepare ourselves. Even if water is released now, it will take 24 hours to reach Delhi as water treatment plants too have been closed. The water in the city is almost over. Whatever little water is left in the reservoirs will be supplied across Delhi through tankers,” said Kejriwal.
Hitting out at the government, Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta Sunday accused the government of shrugging its responsibility by moving th e court over the water crisis.
“As of now there is a shortage of only water but in the coming days, there is going to be shortage of milk, curd, cheese, vegetables coming from Haryana. The government has made no alternate arrangements to meet the anticipated shortage of these items,” he said.