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Thirsty Delhi fights for more water

Last updated on: June 12, 2012 12:04 IST

Thirsty Delhi fights for more water

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The severe water crisis in Delhi is likely to continue as city government's efforts to get additional water from neighbouring Haryana to ease the worsening situation did not fructify.

At a meeting, Delhi Chief Secretary P K Tripathi asked his Haryana counterpart P K Chaudhery to release more water to Delhi to address the problem of water shortage, but the latter turned down the request, saying his state was also facing the same situation.

Asked about the outcome of the meeting, Tripathi said both sides agreed to improve coordination in matters relating to withdrawal of water by Delhi from Yamuna barrage for Wazirabad and Hedayatpur water treatment plants.

"We have decided to improve coordination among the two sides," he said.

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Image: Residents fill their containers with drinking water from a water tanker provided by the state-run Delhi Jal Board in New Delhi
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters

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Thirsty Delhi fights for more water

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Sources said Tripathi requested Chaudhery to provide additional water to Delhi apart from the daily supply of 1,000 cusecs, but the Haryana chief secretary expressed his inability to do so.

Several areas of Delhi have been facing severe water shortage for the last few weeks. The situation had deteriorated further in South Delhi on Saturday when a major pipeline broke down after an under-construction building fell on it.

Delhi Jal Board Chief Executive Officer Debashree Mukherjee said the broken pipe has been repaired and supply through it will resume soon.

The current average demand of potable water in the city is around 1,100 MGD (million gallons per day). Currently, the Delhi Jal Board supplies around 800 MGD water across the city after treating raw water in its treatment plants.

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Image: A woman drinks water stored in an earthen pitcher along a roadside in New Delhi
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters

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Thirsty Delhi fights for more water

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The demand is projected to touch around 1,400 MGD by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan in 2017.

Delhi relies heavily on neighbouring states like Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for the supply of raw water.

Haryana accuses Delhi of drawing more water than the allotted quantity from the Yamuna barrage for Haiderpur and Wazirabad water treatment plants, while Delhi has accused the neighbouring state of not releasing the agreed volume of water.

Asked whether the unresolved dispute between the two states on Munak canal issue figured in the meeting, Tripathi said the matter will be discussed at the political level.

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Image: A labourer washes her face from a water tanker
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters

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Thirsty Delhi fights for more water

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The canal was constructed by Haryana with financial assistance of around Rs 400 crore given by the Delhi government on the condition that the national capital will be supplied 80 MGD water from it. But later, Haryana refused to supply the water to the city.

As both sides failed to settle the dispute, the Centre had set up a Group of Ministers to find a solution to the matter.

Haryana has opposed any water-sharing, saying it has been generously providing water to its neighbour even though its own demand has gone up in recent years.

Construction work on the 102-km canal between Munak in Haryana border and Haiderpur in Delhi has almost been completed.

The canal has been constructed to stop loss of water through leakages in various existing canal along the Yamuna.

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Image: A boy sits under a fountain
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
Tags: Haryana , MGD , Delhi , Yamuna

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