The Supreme Court will on April 2 hear a plea by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), accusing the Haryana government of reducing the national capital’s water quota. The DJB plea was mentioned before a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice D Y Chandrachud on Monday, which agreed to hear it. The petition contended that Haryana was supplying Delhi only 330 cusecs of water per day, as against 450 cusecs per day as agreed upon earlier.
The water board said that the population of Delhi has increased phenomenally over the years, but there has not been a commensurate rise in the water supply during this period. It claimed that due to the present curtailment in water supply to the Wazirabad reservoir, the plant is running at reduced capacity leading to a “grave water crisis” in the city.
It added that the crisis would “escalate” as the temperature rises with the onset of summer, leading to an increase in drinking water demand. “Delhi is in the midst of an acute water crisis owing to stopping of supply of water by Haryana in the Yamuna, which is meant for drinking purposes. It is most respectfully submitted that Haryana is defying the directions of this court to supply drinking water at Wazirabad reservoir, and is taking undue advantage of being an upper riparian state,” the DJB plea said.
“It has converted the river leading to Delhi into a dry river, having virtually no water at Delhi, and resultantly stoppage of supply meant for drinking water for treatment at Wazirabad reservoir…. The coming summer in Delhi is going to see a huge water crisis,” the plea added.
The DJB urged the court to ask the Haryana government to supply the full 450 cusecs of water per day continuously and daily to the Wazirabad reservoir.