There was no end to the city's water crisis on Sunday, or to the bickering between Haryana and Delhi administrators over water sharing. Sheila and Hooda meeting today to resolve the problem
On Sunday, Haryana added another accusation to the ongoing allegations-counter allegations story; it said the city's water supplier the Delhi Jal Board has cut off water supply to the area where more than 60 families of officials from the Haryana Irrigation Department stay. Anand Kumar, Chief Engineer, Yamuna Water Services, Haryana Irrigation Department, said the DJB has cut off water supply to residential premises at 3 Sham Nath Marg, and 3 Under Hill Road in Civil Lines, where the families of Haryana Irrigation Department officials reside.
“It is strange that water supply is available in the adjoining colonies as well as in the office of Divisional Commissioner and Collector, but not at 3 Sham Nath Marg and 3 Under Hill Road,” he said in a statement issued here.
A charge that Delhi denied and said was “exaggerated”. “They were used to a 24x7 supply, which is now being rationalised. Besides, these families are part of the 25 lakh consumer base that is currently facing a water shortage in the city,” said a DJB official. Being blamed for curtailing Delhi's water supply, Haryana's Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Chattar Singh met Pulok Chatterjee, Principal Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office and denied vehemently Delhi's allegations. The Haryana official informed the PMO that Haryana has been “releasing more water for Delhi than it is required to”.
A claim that Haryana has stuck to and Delhi disputes since May 30. With both sides unwilling to climb down from their respective positions and no change in the city's water situation, all hopes are now pinned on the meeting between Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupender Singh Hooda on Monday.
“We will present the facts at the meeting that Haryana has not curtailed any water, the problem lies at Delhi's end. There own water management is very poor, that is why they are facing a situation,” said a senior Haryana administration official. Asked about the falling pond levels, the official said: “We are not concerned with the pond level, we are releasing 610 cusecs of water and have already doubled our release to Delhi.” Meanwhile, DJB officials said production continued to remain affected at Chandrawal and Haiderpur water treatment plants.
“The production is reduced by 45 MGD. We are still getting about 350 cusecs water at Haiderpur, which has lowered production by 15 MGD. On Saturday night we felt there is a change in the pond level, but after lifting the required water quantum of water for Wazirabad plant, the pond level again fell and has since remained at 673.1 feet. We need at least 673.5 feet to be comfortable. If Haryana is releasing any additional water now than what it has been since May 30, we will see the change by Monday noon,” said the official.
However, a statement issued by the Delhi Chief Minister's office said: “The Haryana Government has at last realised that an alarm raised by the Delhi Government on water issue is based on ground realities.”