With the dispute over water from the Munak Canal having a reached a stalemate,Delhi is now looking to use irrigation water it receives from the Yamuna for drinking.
Since water shortage could prove damning for the government in an election year,Delhis water utility,the Delhi Jal Board,is planning to push for the release of 51 cusecs of its legitimate share for irrigation water through Haryana.
This 51 cusecs (25 million gallons a day) has nothing to do with the Munak Canal share. It is Delhis legitimate share that has been allocated for irrigation. Since irrigation needs of the city have gone down significantly,we want Haryana to give us that water in bulk for us to use it the way we want, a senior DJB official said.
DJBs chief executive officer Debashree Mukherjee has been meeting MLAs from the suburbs,especially Bawana,who clarified that irrigation water released through Haryana was occasional. Senior officials maintained that the neighbouring state had refused to share details of the irrigation booking despite repeated requests.
If Delhi secures additional 51 cusecs from Haryana in bulk,it will be able to run at least one of its three water treatment plants that are lying vacant for want of raw water and the Munak Canal issue.
We will take this issue up with the Upper Yamuna River Board and the Central Water Commission on a priority basis. If we get 51 cusecs of water,we will be able to operate the 20 MGD Bawana water treatment plant, Mukherjee told Newsline.
Delhi has long banked on the Munak Canal project the 102-km long parallel line concrete channel from Munak in Haryana to Haiderpur in Delhi to increase water supply.
The ambitious water-saving and pollution-controlling project has witnessed several delays since 2006,due to inter-state water sharing disputes.
Delhi paid over Rs 600 crore for its construction,to prevent wastage of water due to evaporation and seepage. But,Haryana has so far refused to share the water saved,maintaining they are already giving more water to the capital than their mandate.