WITH HARYANA allegedly not releasing Delhi’s full share of water from the Yamuna, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday said the Delhi government has approached the Prime Minister’s Office for help as a water crisis looms in the national capital. He warned that even Lutyens’ Delhi — the diplomatic enclave where the Prime Minister, Parliamentarians and government officers live — could face water shortage in the coming months.
Sisodia also criticised the Centre for “violating the Constitution” and delaying the appointment of two ministers, thereby stalling work and affecting governance in Delhi. “We have approached the PMO, and we are hopeful that they will intervene,” Sisodia told the media on Tuesday. “After all, this is a problem that affects everyone in Delhi — even the PM and Union ministers live in Delhi. If the situation worsens, we will have to cut water supply to parts of central Delhi (Lutyens’ Delhi).”
On Monday, Sisodia had said that he had spoken with the L-G over the shortage caused after Haryana began releasing less water. He said he had asked Delhi Chief Secretary to “coordinate” with his Haryana counterpart to solve the issue. “We should receive 1169 cusecs (cubic feet per second), but at present we are getting less than 1,000 cusecs,” a DJB official said. “We are getting less water from Haryana since May 8.” Water pressure has gone down markedly in several areas at the tail end of the supply chain, the official pointed out.
According to the official, Delhi is getting 50 million gallons per day (MGD) less than its usual share — 770 MGD water instead of the usual 820 MGD. About the alleged delay on part of the Centre in making appointments, Sisodia said, “It has been almost seven working days since we sent files to the Centre for clearance…. We want to know what constitutional problem they are pondering which is causing this delay…. We sent the files on May 6…on May 8 (Monday) they asked for clarification regarding technical language, which we provided immediately.”
On May 6, CM Arvind Kejriwal had divested Kapil Mishra of his portfolios — water, tourism, art and culture — and proposed the induction of AAP legislators, Rajendra Pal Gautam and Kailash Gehlot, in the cabinet.
Since then, Sisodia said, the Delhi government has not heard from the Centre. Previously, Kejriwal had accused the Centre of “stalling” government’s activities by holding back the files. Calling the delay “political vendetta”, he had tweeted, “The Centre is sitting on the files for the last 10 days. Many Delhi government activities are stalled due to this. Your enmity is against us, don’t take revenge from the people of Delhi.”